Ducati Corse announced today it has re-affiliated with Feel Racing, an experienced team that has achieved many victories in the past for Ducati. There is also a significant big difference here from last year, this team is once again “official”, an important status in SBK that comes with perks not offered non-official teams. In addition, they will once again be based inside the racing department in Borgo Panigale.
Much of what is new here is actually “old again” with the team structure reuniting many of Ducati’s best from the past. This continuity also extends to Chaz Davies who essentially continues with Feel who he rode for last year on the BMW. The Ducati Corse press release refers to the Feel team as “Already operational with an efficient and well trained structure, the team is ready and motivated to face the challenge of 2014.”
As a long time observer I can’t help but feel that this decision, all of it, from the team structure, management structure, team members, rider choices with Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano and especially it’s return to behind the red door is the best possible way to fast track the Panigale to the SBK podium. This is a group of people that have done it before and can look at each other and know with certainty, they can do it again. Maybe most important of all, is this is a team that a first tier sponsor can justify backing. Even in tough times any brand that see’s it’s way to SBK is going to have to take a look at this team in a serious way.
Ducati fans, the resources are in place to fight this battle only where it should be fought: fund sourcing, machine development and negotiating for a balanced rule book. I think at this point it’s clear to all involved that SBK, no matter how good the racing, suffers in all ways when Ducati isn’t genuinely in the mix. The changes we are seeing lately are not random fixes or desperate measures. This is a top down plan being implemented piece by piece – this, in my opinion, is a plan coming together…