Ducati Exits World Superbike
Following a frustrating 2010 season in which the factory Ducati Xerox team scored only three race wins (compared with eleven in 2009), Ducati will not field a factory team in the World Superbike Championship for 2011 after twenty-two years of participation in the series. Instead, Ducati has stated they will focus on development of their next-generation 1200cc replacement for the current 1198 road- and race-bikes. However, a difficulty in achieving the desired level of parity between the twin-cylinder 1200cc Ducatis and their four-cylinder 1000cc competitors is rumored to have contributed to the decision, despite two reductions in Ducati’s required minimum weight during the 2010 season. Satellite teams such as Althea Ducati (which outperformed the factory squad in 2010 by virtue of Carlos Checa’s three race wins, five additional podiums, and third in the overall championship points) will continue to receive a strong level of support from the Italian manufacturer.
The Bologna-based team is the most successful squad in World SBK championship history, producing unforgettable champions like Doug Polen, Carl Fogerty, and Troy Corser on the way to winning the rider’s and constructor’s titles thirteen and sixteen times, respectively, in the series’ twenty-two years of existence.