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Checa's thoughts on his Ducati 1198 and WSBK

1866 Views 12 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  EagleRider
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It is too hard to tweak the rules to make twins for 4 cylinders equal. What was the biggest factor between 2011 and 2012?

Checa retired 6 times this year and that is 150 points left on the table for other riders to take...only 71 points between Checa and the title.

In 2011 he finished off the podium only 6 times (only 1 retire) with 15 race wins...and he won the title with a 110 point cushion.

It seems to me the weight made the racing closer and the title was not won with 2 or 3 rounds to go. Wins/podiums were spread out among riders and manufactures and it made for an exciting race season....every manufacturer had a shot at winning a race and title (except for Suzuki :) )
How are the rules set up...does there have to be at least 2 bikes of the same manufacturer having great results for rules to change/be enforced??

I was just saying the season was more balanced across the board. Now was it because of the added weight or did Checca have a bad year?? I wil never know.

Again, twins and fours can't run on the same rules, so there has to be some give and take as the best formula is persued for the grid. If Ducati feels cheated they can pull out of racing (didn't they already do that as of 2011), hope their new bike is a better track weapon, or do what Honda did and bring a 4 cylinder to the table and beat the other guys at their own game.

I think the bikes are pretty even and any could win on any day....it comes down to the riders and the quality of riders is pretty deep right now. This will spread out the wins/poduims and we wont see season like Checa had last season. With Biaggi out, I see Checa/Melandri/Sykes for the title....Sykes really has the ZX-10R dialed in and I think 2013 will be his year.

Some tracks favor the fours and some the twins, twins are great on the tires so I believe it comes down to which rider makes the least amount of mistakes all season.
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Honda only raced a V-Twin reluctantly in order to compete with Ducati back when fours were limited to 750cc and twins could be 1000cc. They went straight back to fours and dropped their V-Twin like a hot rock the instant 1000cc fours were allowed. I wouldn't doubt it was Honda keeping the pressure on to weight-penalize the 1200cc Ducs so Honda won't need to field another twin. Honda wants to either use a V-4 or an I-4, because that's what they can sell. If Aprilia is too successful with their V-4 (and they've got two titles now), expect Honda to roll out their own.

Sykes is fast and has become the top qualifier, but he's not great at riding on worn tires at race end. Unless he can improve there, he'll win a few but will have to settle for podiums at most rounds. He'll be consistent I think, so unless someone else steps up to dominate, he may win the title in the way Hayden did his MotoGP crown in 2006.
Never said Honda was pushing for the weight....I just pointed out that Honda stopped trying to squeeze a couple tenths out of a 750cc bike that was already maxed by throwing tons of cash at it, while Ducati just had to bump up their displacement if the Jap companies got close the season before. They went with what worked for the series and others followed with immediate success.

Sykes started looking better the second half of the year....maybe they started figuring out the tire wear issue and 2013 could mash the blistering speed with better tire wear.
The reason Checa DNFed too many times this season was because he was pushing and trying to make up for the weight disadvantage. You could see him braking much later into the turns vs. competition. Riding on the limit has its disadvantages, and esp. on a duc from what they say.
And maybe the reason Sykes burned through his tires so fast was because he was riding at the limit as well. BMW even had issues with tire management. Ducati has had the advantage of corner exit and saving tires for race distance.

I don't have the exact answer for each bike to make it fair across the grid but I believe it is pretty close.

On the point of Checa's comments - that weight penalty was clearly meant to reduce the competitiveness of the 1198. They went too far and didn't go back to less weight when the results obviously justified it. That's a good reason to complain. That said, I doubt if it was politically motivated as Checa claims.
I think the 1098R was closer to race bike spec than the 1199R will be, simply based on what each cost (48k versus something like 30k, respectively). And don't forget the 1098/1198 was still competitive in WSBK in 2012, even with a 6 kg weight penalty. These bikes are so fast and capable it is hard to move performance up much anymore. Consider that CRT MotoGP bikes lapped Assen slower than the fastest World Superbike times in 2012, and you'll see what the engineers are up against. The race spec 1199 RS will be faster over most tracks than the outgoing 1098/1198, but not by much.
I am confused....was it competitive with the weight penalty or did the added weight take the Ducati out of the running? I think the 1199 will be a great track bike....it just will not crash well!!
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