In baseball, the major leagues are called the “show”, and that’s what four-stroke GP racing will be next year, i.e., the major leagues. Ducati acknowledged as much by announcing today that it will develop a prototype machine to race in the GP 500 class.
Ducati’s announcement only underscores the fact that all of the motorcycle manufacturers view GP racing as the premier class — a class that they cannot afford to ignore and must compete in. Ducati’s life blood is racing and, more particularly, racing success. With the GP class allowing four-strokes, Ducati must be there.
Who else will join the “show”? We don’t know for sure, but expect every manufacturer who can reasonably afford to compete to be there, along with some non-motorcycle entities (Sauber, among them). Next year is the dawning of a new era in GP racing, and an entirely new atmosphere as well. For those who follow Formula One automobile racing, it would not be surprising to find a few teams dominating while others flounder. The competition will be intense, and the temptation for the wealthier teams to exploit their financial advantage will be tremendous.