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Discussion Starter #1
I enjoyed the superbike races today, but one thing that puzzles me :confused: in WSBK the Ducati's are right up at the front,hell Troy B. has won 3 races in a row and even the other Ducati's in WSBK are mixing it up near the front. Now in the AMA with Ben and Neil they seem to be no where. Do they need more testing to try and get a handle on the bike or does the Ducati squad in the AMA get hand me downs from Ducati that are second rate compared to the WSBK team. In the broadcast for the AMA races they said that team green tests more than they race and they show it for a new bike and team they are at least mixing it up at the front and they have 2 great riders in Tommy and Roger Lee but neither one of them has any superbike wins or championships while Neil is an ex WSBK champ and Ben has won his fair share of victorys on a superbike.If you don't have a bike that works it takes the steam right out of a rider. The Ducati factory needs to give the AMA team what ever they need to get back up to the front before Neil or Ben start just making laps instead of going for a podium finish(or win). I wonder if thats why Eric left because he felt that Ducati was not taking the AMA superbike series serious enough, questions questions.
 

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Given how exciting the Valencia SBK races were this weekend, I was surprised to learn the Hodgson in 2003 was still faster than either Corser or Bayliss at the same track this year ... I wonder the same thing as you: It seems Hodgson and Bostrom are struggling to even just make it into the top 5 in the AMA ... now that the season is in full swing with Ducati leading in Championship points across MotoGP, WSBK and BSB, this definitely puts the spotlight on Ducati's performance in the AMA : Given each rider's resume's there, it's clearly not for lack of riding skill.

Current AMA Standings (unofficial):
  1. Spies
  2. Mladin
  3. Duhamel
  4. Hodgson
  5. Yates
  6. Hayden
  7. Bostrom
  8. Pridmore
  9. Zemke
  10. Holden
 

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I think the rules in WSB and BSB favor ducati more than AMA. This also explains why AMA bikes are faster than WSB bikes. Tires are just one example of a major diffrence between AMA and WSB, You dont see too many if any Pirelli (sp?) shod AMA bikes, while WSB they are required by the rules.
 

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... Would greater factory support improve their results in the AMA then? Perhaps Ducati knows their deficit in the AMA and that the only important thing is that the Ducs appear in the top 10 since it would be a waste of money to give more support. The 999's as Bayliss has expressed, are clearly maxed-out as it is.

Win or lose, the Ducs' participation in nearly any Superbike race make-up a good portion of the excitement and interest there. I felt this way even before I owned any Ducs. Perhaps the ball is in the court of the AMA... it's that, or perhaps it's high-time Ducati is first in bringing-on the big guns to the world of Superbikes: "Don't make us put the V4 on the assembly lines" :D ... Now that would eliminate any regulatory discrepancies wouldn't it ... and perhaps start a whole new free-for-all in Superbike development. Just some stupid thoughts I guess.
 

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Haven't watched the DVR'd AMA race yet.

Wow, Bayliss is amazing. What a solid ride. It's fun watching two veterans like Troy and Troy.

I loved the way the Ducati works on the harder compound.


Sad to hear about Neil and Ben having to fight it again. I'll watch tomorrow.
 

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That was a good race in the WSB, wasnt it? The Ducati seemed to have a little left at the end of the race.

BTW, I lost my list of points. How are the points payed out for WSB, 25, 20, .....? Can anyone list that and is it the same for MotoGP?

Dave Harhay
 

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migz123 The 999's as Bayliss has expressed said:
The 999 may be maxed out but it has the potential to be competitive in AMA. I agree that Ducati...(As well as a few other brands like buell) bring some excitement to the table at AMA, If they are in the race.
Also I would think that Ducati would be more interested in the AMA racing. The GSXR 1000 is the top selling sportbike in the US largely due to Mladin and Spies. Ducati might have a different approach to building a motorcycle than their japanese counterparts but in the end it is all about sales.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I don't think Ducati would settle for just making laps so to speak. In a Roadracing world mag that I was reading they interviewed the guy ahead of the AMA Ducati superbike team and in years past he was part of the Harley VR1000 program and when asked how he compares the two companies with racing in mind he said in a nut shell that Ducati is 180 degrees from Harley. Harley did not have there heart into roadracing while Ducati wants to win in the worst way.Also I'm sure Ben & Neil would not be happy with a bike that won't run up at the front because it makes there stock worth less so to speak. I am kind of split with the V4 idea,I mean I want Ducati to win and I love the V4 but part of me would be sad to see the V-twin go. I guess thats why I get so excited when I see the Ducati running up at the front with the I4's because everybody says the V-twins are dead. In my opinion when Honda had the RC45 (V4),Ducati had the V-twin,and the other makes had the 750 I4's that was the best racing because they all had there strong and weak points.
 

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migz123 said:
Given how exciting the Valencia SBK races were this weekend, I was surprised to learn the Hodgson in 2003 was still faster than either Corser or Bayliss at the same track this year ... I wonder the same thing as you: It seems Hodgson and Bostrom are struggling to even just make it into the top 5 in the AMA ... now that the season is in full swing with Ducati leading in Championship points across MotoGP, WSBK and BSB, this definitely puts the spotlight on Ducati's performance in the AMA : Given each rider's resume's there, it's clearly not for lack of riding skill.


The issue of Hodgson being faster than Corser and Bayliss at Valencia in 03 was settled on another thread, it was the tires he was using, hands down. At least 2 seconds better. One said it was the Works Dunlops, the other said he was on Michelins. I'm waiting for clarification. I've said it before, Hodgson's WSBK run was at the end of Ducati dominance simply because the Japanese factories weren't racing. We all know that changed in 05. Hodgson had a superior bike in 03, it was obvious. But notice how just pass midway Chris Vermullen almost took it away from him.
 

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Perhaps it may have just been the tires then... I didn't realize it can make so much difference even after 3 years of higher technology in engine as well as tires. I would have thought that what would be considered superior tires then would be sub-par at best today.
 

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Chuckracer said:
Not the Pirellis! They suck compared to Michelins and Dunlops, even those from a few years ago. Ask Ben!
Pirelli doesn't usually figure highly in high level bike racing, true. But when they were made the sole supplier to WSB, they were not there to break track records. Their task was to construct tires that were consistent one to the next, set to set, and the same for everybody. Comparing lap times is pointless. On top of that, Dunlops have "sucked" for years in WSB.
 

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roadrash194 said:
I enjoyed the superbike races today, but one thing that puzzles me :confused: in WSBK the Ducati's are right up at the front,hell Troy B. has won 3 races in a row and even the other Ducati's in WSBK are mixing it up near the front. Now in the AMA with Ben and Neil they seem to be no where. Do they need more testing to try and get a handle on the bike or does the Ducati squad in the AMA get hand me downs from Ducati that are second rate compared to the WSBK team. In the broadcast for the AMA races they said that team green tests more than they race and they show it for a new bike and team they are at least mixing it up at the front and they have 2 great riders in Tommy and Roger Lee but neither one of them has any superbike wins or championships while Neil is an ex WSBK champ and Ben has won his fair share of victorys on a superbike.If you don't have a bike that works it takes the steam right out of a rider. The Ducati factory needs to give the AMA team what ever they need to get back up to the front before Neil or Ben start just making laps instead of going for a podium finish(or win). I wonder if thats why Eric left because he felt that Ducati was not taking the AMA superbike series serious enough, questions questions.
This came from the Ducati Desmoblog:
SBK & AMA
Tuesday 02 May 2006 12:49:56 by Federico Minoli

"In the SBK Championship, the ultimate performance of the 2 and 4 cylinder 1000cc bikes is a result of the technical regulations designed to balance the outputs of the different engine configurations. To compensate for the greater potential of power from 4 cylinder engines, the twins are allowed fewer restrictions to the specification of their set-up. This enables the twins to be competitive against the fours - even if it also means that the twins are more complex and more costly to maintain.

The AMA Championship is a little different in that the set-up levels for a twin are inferior compared to WSBK. For example, the crankshaft and primary gears have to be the same as fitted to production models. We normally use different primary gears to help us find the ideal set-up for the "gearing" of each individual circuit. However, with this restriction we are forced to make adjustments to the final drive gearing and this in turn means having to deviate from a perfect wheelbase length. Even one of our strongest features, the electronics system, is limited by the AMA regulations and this seriously limits our ability to fully exploit our technological strengths.

Honestly, I would also like to add that the AMA championship is extremely costly in that, in comparison to the technical and logistical costs, it is difficult to find enough support from American sponsors. The net result is that we are penalized by the fact that our spending power in the AMA is less than that in the SBK.

Of course we are far from giving in or being satisfied with third or fourth place. Our team and its riders are talented and totally motivated. They will never stop working towards improving their performance - even with the regulatory and financial considerations. We would like to be able to compete in the AMA with equivalent weapons; if that were the case, we wouldn't fear anyone.

I hope that this contributes to clarify your doubts. I hope that you all do everything in your power to support us and to cheer for the Ducati riders, in both championships, as enthusiastically as ever."

then there's more comments to follow from others.
 

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Haven't given up hope yet but I know Hodgson will not stick around unless something changes. He can go back to WSBK or even BSBK and get better support and possibly return to some glory. If what that fellow says is true, then AMA better make some changes in the rulebook, otherwise Ducati will retreat from the show. Too bad if that happens, it will be boring having Suzuki against Honda. However, it was like that with Ducati in WSBK not long ago, their reign ended in 05, but fortunately we are back! Imagine not having the sound of that twin reving pass at 160MPH?

The whole AMA Ducati thing is a bust when theres not enough resources to support the team, being that MotoGP and WSBK and even BSBK get all the attention. I wouldn't blame Ducati if they had to back out, besides AMA is like upgraded track days when compared to the above venues. What a bunch of crap tracks.
 

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It all is money related. Ducati wont support the teams at a high level unless they buy the necessary parts. Then there are the rules as was mentioned. AMA is what a$70k bike, WSB=$300k bike, and MotoGP=$800k bike?

Dave Harhay
 
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