After the shocking revelation that Ducati is to pull out of the World Superbike championship for the 2011 season, the WSBK organizers Infront Motor Sports were quick to respond. CEO Paolo Flammini was quick to point out that the series has always been open to helping the Italian manufacturer maintain parity with the four-cylinder bikes through balancing the regulations, a response to Ducati's hints that the World Superbike regulations made it difficult for the company to compete. Flammini points out in the press release that just last season, the Ducati was battling for supremacy in the championship in the hands of Noriyuki Haga, the Japanese rider losing out to Yamaha's Ben Spies at the final round in Portimao. Here's the full text of the Infront Motor Sports press release on the Ducati situation.
Infront Motor Sports has learnt with disappointment of Ducati's decision not to participate with a factory team in the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship.
The Borgo Panigale manufacturer has built a large part of its history and reputation on the back of its wins in the world championship for production-based bikes, in which it has taken part since the very start and in which it has obtained 16 Manufacturers' and 13 Riders' titles with its strictly twin-cylinder production models. As recently as last year Ducati was fighting for the championship title right down to the final round of the season at Portimao, proving the outright competitiveness of its flagship model, the 1198, and demonstrating the extremely well-balanced nature of the current technical regulations.
"We are disappointed and also a bit surprised at Ducati's decision," declared Paolo Flammini, CEO of Infront Motor Sports, "especially since we have been asked numerous times for a change in the regulations to bring about a better balancing of twin-cylinder 1200cc machines towards the four-cylinder 1000cc bikes, but it must be mentioned that last year, without the presence of a phenomenal Ben Spies, the Ducati 1198 would have dominated the championship with Haga and Fabrizio, and it is therefore difficult for us today to comprehend this decision, which of course we must respect.
Moreover the FIM Superbike World Championship can today boast the participation of six manufacturers in addition to Ducati, with Aprilia, BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha and is therefore obliged to maintain a total balance in the regulations, without privileging one or other manufacturer in particular.
We are however pleased that Ducati has confirmed its technical support for private teams that will be competing with its models in the 2011 championship and that the development of its new generation of hypersport bikes, in both homologated and Superbike race versions, will continue."