Vicki’s View

Michele Pirro at WDW 2014

Michele Pirro at WDW 2014 (Vicki Smith Photo)

In a move that potentially could severely undercut the Ducati Corse development program, Italian media is reporting that Aprilia has contacted Ducati test pilot Michele Pirro regarding a full time position on the Aprilia factory GP entry that deploys in 2015. It’s known that Pirro considers his time as a tester as a gap position and his desire to return to the grid is no secret. It’s also a pretty safe assumption that his desirability to Aprilia would be enhanced by both his knowledge of the Ducati program as well as the bonus add that it sets back the ex Aprilia boss Gigi Dall’Igna.

The report indicates that Pirro has expressed his desire to Dall’Igna, who would like to keep him in the role of test driver, understandable because 2015 for Ducati is an important year with the arrival of the new bike, ongoing software updates, and of course the new Michelin tires that Pirro has already tested.  This is experience that neither of the riders reportedly being considered for remaining Pramac position (Loris Baz and Mike di Meglio) have and presumably could use help with.  Pirro is a key ingredient to Ducati Corse’s perpetual forward motion and moving him to the Pramac seat does not solve the situation because of testing restrictions on active riders. 

Read more GPOne.com: HERE

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Wayne Rainey Takes American Road Racing Back To It’s Roots…

From The AMA:

American Motorcyclist Association to sanction MotoAmerica’s professional road racing series in North America

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association has announced that it will sanction MotoAmerica, a new North American road racing series. MotoAmerica is an affiliate of KRAVE Group LLC, a partnership that includes three-time MotoGP champion, Wayne Rainey.

MotoAmerica will promote and manage the commercial aspects of MotoAmerica, which will be sanctioned by the AMA and FIM North America. FIM North America is the North American Continental Union of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, the international body for motorcycle sport.

The KRAVE Group is a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based organization that includes Rainey, the three-time 500cc World Champion (1990, 1991 and 1992) and two-time AMA Superbike Champion (1983, 1987), Chuck Aksland, a former racer and 20-year manager of Team Roberts who most recently served as Vice President of Motor Sport Operations at Circuit of The Americas, Terry Karges, a former motorsports marketing executive and team owner who spent 17-years at Roush Performance before being named Executive Director of the Petersen Museum, and Richard Varner, a motorcycle manufacturer, energy sector entrepreneur, philanthropist and businessman.

The KRAVE (Karges, Rainey, Aksland, Varner) Group owns commercial rights to the MotoAmerica Series, and will award AMA and FIM North America No. 1 plates to series class champions. The group will sell sponsorships, develop other commercial relationships for the series, secure tracks, create the calendar, process crew and media credentials and have responsibility for fan engagement.

“If you are an amateur or professional motorcycle road racer in America, if you are a fan of road racing or if you are a company that does business in this industry, this is an exciting day,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “Our goal has always been to entrust the promoting and commercial rights for professional racing to a talented, dedicated, well-capitalized professional entity, and the KRAVE Group certainly offers all that and more.”

Rainey, an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer, thanked the AMA for facilitating the acquisition.

“The AMA was instrumental in this deal coming together, serving as negotiator and mediator at all points of discussion,” Rainey said. “We appreciate the efforts of Rob Dingman throughout the process.”

The Ohio-based AMA, the world’s premier motorcycle advocacy group, will staff officials at each round of the professional series and develop an enforcement, appeal and rider license procedure. The AMA will be responsible for issuing professional road racing licenses for the series.

MotoAmerica, in consultation with the AMA, will develop classes, the rules of competition and event procedures. While details of the rulebook are still in development, classes and events will conform to prevailing international standards.

“The structure of our agreement with the AMA serves the goal of developing riders to be successful on the world stage,” Rainey said. “It allows a framework that supports advancement from youth competition to novice, from novice to Pro-Am, from Pro-Am to National Championship contention and, for the best of the best, an opportunity to race for a world title.”

The AMA, as the U.S. affiliate of the FIM, sanctions FIM-affiliated events in the United States. The AMA, along with the Canadian Motorcycle Association, administers FIM North America, which sanctions continental-level series and championship events in North America. The AMA also sanctions amateur motorcycle competition in America, a role the AMA has fulfilled since it was established in 1924.

“The AMA’s roles as FIM affiliate and amateur sanctioning body make it a critical piece to establishing a clear progression for America’s road racing community,” Rainey said. “We’re eager to build a fair, exciting and commercially viable professional road racing series not just for today’s stars, but for those who will stand on top of the podium for years to come.”

Dingman added: “The MotoAmerica/KRAVE Group has shown throughout the entire process that they have the best interests of the AMA and its members in mind. They not only accepted financial responsibility for the series, but the relationship requires the MotoAmerica Series to sanction its events with the AMA.”

As part of the agreement, the AMA has re-acquired the sanctioning, promotional and commercial rights to professional motorcycle road racing in America from Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG), which had purchased those rights from the AMA in 2008. DMG has operated the series for the last seven years and is no longer going to be the promoter of the series.

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Troy Bayliss, one of the most beloved Ducati race faces of all.

Famous Ducati race faces seen around the Misano World Circuit during World Ducati Week 2014 .

For the whole gallery click HERE

With two full years to get ready crazy builds like this all carbon NOS injected Hypermotard were everywhere you looked

With two full years to get ready, crazy builds like Alex Toni’s all carbon NOS injected Hypermotard were everywhere you looked

The 2014 Ducati Summer of Awesomeness is in full swing for Ducati.net  with Laguna Seca SBK, World Ducati Week, Indy MotoGP (and all the Ducati festivities within those events) all happening within a month long window.  Today we thought we’d break out a gallery and share some of the kickass Ducati’s we saw at the Misano racetrack during the World Ducati Week festivities.  To see the full gallery click DucatiPhotos.Com – Custom Ducati’s at WDW2014

Photo credits: Vicki Smith