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Ducati Considering Departure From WSB Championship

According to Motorcycle News of England, Ducati is considering whether to leave the World Superbike Championship and concentrate on four-stroke GP racing. With the advent of four-stroke GP racing from the 2002 season forward, several companies have already shown that they will consider the WSB championship a second-tier championship.

When Yamaha moved Noriyuki Haga to the GP championship next year — still riding two-strokes, but there for purposes of learning the tracks before the four-strokes debut in 2002 — one had to wonder whether other manufacturers were developing the same plans for their WSB stars.

In the automobile world, there is only one true world championship — Formula One. Many, if not most, manufacturers believe that motorcycle racing should have one, true world championship, not two. Yamaha apparently thinks so, and, if Ducati draws resources from its WSB efforts, WSB will be in big trouble, indeed.

MCN quotes Carl Fogarty as strongly recommending Ducati develop a GP machine and de-emphasize WSB. Fogarty, who has retired from riding due to injury, is still highly influential at Ducati, particularly with regard to its racing strategy.