The announcement that John Kocinski will not ride a Ducati in this year’s AMA Superbike Championship Series is a disappointment, but the fact that Aaron Slight will take his place pretty much makes up for it.
Slight, who has more second place finishes in the World Superbike Championship than anyone, arrives in the US to race a Ducati in the premier AMA series after a strange season in WSB last year. Coming off successful brain surgery early in the WSB season, Slight continually progressed, but perhaps never quite reached his former level of confidence on a Superbike. In Slight’s defense, he not only was recovering from serious health problems, he was also coming to grips with a new motorcycle (the Honda RC51). He ultimately rode well enough to indicate that he might be back to his aggressive/competitive self this year. We hope so, and he will figure prominently in our upcoming AMA Superbike Preview Story.
Meanwhile, Kocinski is apparently content to buy and sell Beverly Hills mansions as part of his successful real estate business. According to one report, he recently sold a property to actor Eddie Murphy for approximately $15 million dollars. Apparently wealthy enough to race as a hobby, rather than as a profession, Kocinski wasn’t convinced Ducati would give him the support he wanted this year.