Vicki’s View

Amelia Concours d'Elegance like bikes too

Amelia Concours d’Elegance like bikes too


This year was the 20th Anniversary of “The Amelia”, an elegant, intimate gathering held at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida.  Widely considered to be one of the best car shows in the world, it’s a less know fact that for all of those 20 years the event had included motorcycles, and not in some small way either.  The event organizers love motorcycles and this years turn out of (my best guess) about $4,000,000 worth of Daytona racers (and winners) was a seriously impressive gathering. Scattered on the lawn like “go-fast jelly beans” in colors ranging from that famous Britten blue, Ducati Teal green and Vance and Hines Pinky Purple and yellow, if you looked closely the fairings told the tales of great victories for men like Jarno Saarinan, Dick Mann, Cal Rayborn, Dale Singleton and others.  Shipped from all over the USA –  (Three of the events roughly 17 California entry’s were motorcycles) the line up signified almost 60 years of Daytona high banks wins.

For the full photo gallery (and some videos of the bikes running too)  click HERE


Posted by Vicki Smith at 12:27 pm
Franco Farne with Team Caracchi at Misano World Circuit,  World Ducati Week 2007

Franco Farne with Team Caracchi at Misano World Circuit, World Ducati Week 2007

Ducati lost a big piece of it’s soul today. Franco Farne, legendary rider, mechanic and engineer has passed at 81.  The obituaries will say he was brilliant and important, he was there at Ducati from the beginning for all of it, from the Cucciolo to the modern superbike, the stuff of Ducati legend –  Paul Smart’s Imola win,   Mike Hailwood’s come back to win the Isle of Man TT, that he was among the first to see the potential in Carl Fogarty, that his partnerships with Taglioni, Bordi, and NCR in particular, resulted in brilliant, stunningly fast, machines. But the thing about Franco Farne that I loved best was that he never stopped looking for more in a motor or a design.  Those around him were always certain that if it was there, Farne would find it and if he didn’t, well, then it simply was not possible.  He. Was. The. Best.

I’ll end this with a small tale of the respect he earned from all that knew him. I remember  arriving one time in Bologna, to the small NCR workshop with 3 days to assemble a Ducati competition bike for the Motogiro d’Italia, a project that had more chance of going wrong than right, time was short with nothing to waste and yet there we all were, stunned in wonder, looking at a set of Farne’s tools, laid out for us to use.  It seemed to set the bar for perfection, the magic was in the wrenches. We made the deadline and the bike was perfect. In the end when the tale was told, the magical wrenches were the headline.  Think about that. Just touching his wrenches was an honor.

RIP Farne. Give Giorgione a hug for me, would you?

For some truly wonderful photos from the incredible life of Franco Farne, click HERE

Welcome back Troy!

Welcome back Troy! 

Bayliss To Fill In For The Injured Davide Giugliano

In a stunning turn of events that began with the unfortunate (expected) 90 day recovery period of Davide Giugliano who was injured at the Phillip Island SBK test on Monday, Troy Bayliss has been called on to fill in and start the season on the – Ducati Superbike Team 
He hasn’t ridden the Panigale since May of 2014 but it’s Phillip Island and it’s Troy so it’s crazy but it makes perfect sense and as a long time Ducati Ambassador the legions of Ducati fans that will be rooting for this is immeasurable.  His desire to continue racing is well known so when it looked like there was a chance that the seat was open Troy offered and the team said yes.  
Troy Bayliss ( Racing – Ducati Superbike Team #21)
“I want to start by saying that I really feel for Davide and that it’s a real shame for his season to be starting in this way. The desire to be able to return to the track and see the home crowd and the Ducatisti has always been strong, ever since I last raced and then also Phillip Island, one of my favourite tracks, is celebrating its 25th anniversary of World Superbikes. This gave me the idea to compete as a wildcard and work with the Ducati Superbike technicians once again. I know it’s going to be a very difficult weekend, also because it’s a while since I’ve ridden the Superbike but I do know the track well and so hope to get back into it after a few laps. I’ll try to enjoy myself and will of course be doing my best to score a good result and put on a good show for the public.”
Davide Giugliano ( Racing – Ducati Superbike Team #34)
“My aim now is to do all I can to recover as quickly as possible. I will return to Italy as soon as possible to start my rehabilitation. I’m proud to know that it will be Troy to substitute for me this weekend. He’s a great champion and I’ve always admired him. I hope he gets on well with the set-up that my team and I have worked on in recent months.”



Could this be  the view Rossi will see in 2015?

Could this be the view Rossi will see in 2015?


it was good when they were slow. But now I do not see why they continue to benefit from this regulation” – Valentino Rossi

It’s all smiles and press releases until the other racers start complaining.  That is the first sign the job is getting done and now, at least according to, that time has arrived.  Valentino Rossi,  fresh off the Malaysia test with hopes of a hard fought title in his future has become vocal about the benefits that Ducati will continue to receive as an open class entry.  The gist of his complaint is that as long as the team was slow it made sense, but now that it’s increasingly looking like they can score precious points the Yamaha’s need to contest for the championship it’s time to start venting about it.  For the whole article (in Italian) go HERE.

Exactly how much he has to worry about should become much clearer once the teams get to the second Sepang test later this month.