Vicki’s View

That's two DECADES of Ducati fun..

That’s two DECADES of Ducati fun..

Hard to believe but this year’s Laguna WSBK weekend is the 20th Anniversary of the first Ducati Island, which of course started at Laguna Seca. To celebrate Ducati North America is planning  a bike show with cool special prizes.  Here’s how it works:

There are 6 classes, Best Original, Best Modified, Hit The Road, Bella Bike of the Island, Passion (bike and/or rider considered) and Best In Show. It’s a limited space available show, (if you were on the Island last year you will have an idea how it’s set up) and judging is expected to be on Saturday, but if you show your bike, you can park in the prime show spot on Sunday too.

If you have any questions contact me directly, if I don’t know the answer I’ll find out.

Please pass the word to your friends, Ducati club members, and to any groups, pages or forums you might participate in.


See you on the Island!


Posted by Vicki Smith at 4:19 pm
Phil Schilling and the Satified Mind Ducati 175 F3 at the Pebble Beach Concours

Phil Schilling and the Satified Mind Ducati 175 F3 at the Pebble Beach Concours

Ducati lost a great friend last night with the passing of Phil Schilling.  In our world Phil was well known for winning the Daytona Superbike race in 1977 with Cook Neilson, a fairy tale journey documented month by month in Cycle magazine as hundreds of thousands of people followed along the “Racer Road”.  He also wrote what is my favorite motorcycle story, “A Satisfied Mind” which was a beautiful tale of a young man falling in love with a Ducati motorcycle and the ups and downs of their life together.

There is a long list of achievements, books he wrote, jobs he held, the amazing woman he married, the sort of things that lives tend to boil down to. Phil was a great mechanic. He mentored so many racers it would be difficult to count them all. And his influence on the motorcycle industry as long time editor of Cycle was impossible to measure.  But sitting here at my keyboard all I can really think of was how deeply he was loved and by so many people.DSC_0524

Cook and Phil on the box at Daytona, 1977

Cook and Phil on the box at Daytona, 1977

Phil passed from Parkinson’s, and we had been losing bits of him for a long time.  Parkinson’s steals the ability to communicate and that’s a cruel twist for a man who was brilliant and funny and who could put things into words in a simple way that made the sentiment so vivid you felt like you were there in the room with him when it happened.  It took a remarkably long time to truly get the best of him. In between the ups and downs he was right there with us, at WDW posing for photos with “New Blue” the bike NCR built to honor his Daytona win, at IndyGP laughing at a hurricane, grinning from his helmet on the back of Cook’s motorcycle riding along on the Moto Giro in California, at Pebble Beach Concours on the green with Prosecco and that little Ducati that gave him the Satisfied Mind, at Barber Vintage with tears in his eyes when the museum presented him and Cook with a faithful replica of his California Hot Rod they called Old Blue, and finally, in Las Vegas for his Motorcycle Hall Of Fame induction. Always surrounded by people who really, truly, deeply, loved him.

So that is this man’s measure of success and I can report that in that regard he was successful indeed.

Goodbye my friend, you will be deeply missed by many.


Phil Typewriter



 Click HERE for the link to A Satisfied Mind on Cycle World Magazine


Notice the i after the 21?  That's for International and those fans can watch for free as well

Notice the i after the 21? That’s for International and those fans can watch for free as well

The first stop on the Troy Bayliss “Five Miles”  tour is next weekend so this is a good time to fill new AMAPro Flat Track fans in on how to follow the races if they are too far away to go in person. 

If you love racing and like me have painfully shelled out hundreds of euros and dollars for the privilege of staying in the know, you are really going to like what I have to tell you about following Troy Bayliss on the Five Miles Tour.  It’s easy, totally free AND the coverage includes all the practice sessions and races.  Better yet, it’s a world wide feed with no regional restrictions.  Log on race day and get comfortable, you may find yourself wanting to stay a while.

Live coverage on the internet is available for all the races on Fanschoice.TV   It goes live on the day of the race prior to the first practice and stays live until after the main event. It works on any device and any website. It’s totally and completely free and works anywhere in the world. Just log on and click on the AMAPro section. Find the feed you are looking for and that’s it.

Full results are posted on the AMAPro website here within 30 minutes after the race.  A full recap of the entire event will appear withing 48 hours  For updates in between make sure you check out the @AMAProFlatTrack Twitter feed HERE

Another great resource is “Talking Motorcycles with Barry Boone” show which is available as a podcast you can subscribe to.  He covers a lot of different 2 wheeled topics but his long history as a flat track announcer makes him one of the best resources for intelligent interviews full of good info. Available on iTunes or go directly HERE    Barry also has a Twitter feed worth following @twowheelb HERE

Flat Track Live is a Facebook based resource that does a good job of staying on top of the Flat Track news.  Find them on Facebook HERE  and make sure you follow the twitter feed @FlatTrackLive as well HERE

Finally, this year flat track is coming to the XGames on June 4th and Johnny Lewis and the Lloyd Brothers Motorsport Ducati team will be there.  To follow them on Twitter go HERE and search the hashtag #XGamesFlatTrack

Harley-Davidson Flat-Track Racing Round One/LCQ/Final is on ESPN 9:30 – 11:30 EDT June 4th

Other obvious good resources for this exciting sport include the tracks themselves like the Sacramento mile @Sactomile and well know media resources like @DaveDespain and his Dave Despain Show on MavTV, or Chris Carr, who is now doing commentary for AMAPro racing and is very much in the know on his facebook page HERE

Best Troy Bayliss, Johnny Lewis and the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports resources include:

Troy Bayliss Athlete Facebook Page

Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Facebook page

@JohnnyLewis10 on Twitter or the official Johnny Lewis website HERE

And of course Facebook and and this website

UPDATE:  Flat Track Weekly Radio covers flat track exclusively and can be followed by podcast. Both hosts are third generation racers and the show is a solid info source:

Know of a good resource I forgot?  Let me know by posting a comment on the facebook page







Never been to a flat track race before?   You are in for a treat.


Here’s some stuff you need to know…

AMA Pro racing’s oldest and most traditional type of racing is flat track (sometimes called dirt track). How old? The term “old as dirt” comes to mind, it’s roots date back to the early 1900s. After World War II the sport evolved into its current “modern” structure, which until recently when Marc Marquez embraced it for his SuperPrestigio event, was a uniquely American type of motorcycle racing. Riders finesse their machines sideways through the turns inches apart at speeds over 130 miles an hour. Image about Moto3 speeds, only WAY closer, (I know, how is that even possible?) on dirt, with NO FRONT BRAKE, everybody going sideways at once. Kind of like drifting with less smoke and more dirt. It’s seriously badass and if you need proof of that, this year it’s even being included in the Summer X Games in Austin, TX.

Here’s how it works:

The races are made up of two classes, AMA Pro flat track GNC1 and GNC2. Troy Bayliss will be competing in the GNC1 class, this is considered the premier class, it’s riders the “bad boys” of dirt track racing. As the premier class these riders are considered “experts” and they travel the country competing on four different styles of tracks: Mile and half mile tracks, short tracks and TTs. For this lesson we only need to know about the Mac Daddy’s, the Miles.

Troy Bayliss will be entering the five one mile races. It is his dream (like many others including Nicky Hayden), to win a mile. He will be teamed up with well known pro rider Johnny Lewis, and riding for the Lloyd brothers, who are the first and last word in Ducati racing on dirt. No team in the world is better at this sport using theses bikes, period.

What is Troy riding?

Like MotoGP or NASCAR, this sport uses hand made, purpose built machines. Every part of the bike is crafted for going fast and turning left, on dirt. They use performance tuned Ducati 1100cc 2 valve air cooled engines, with VMC frames and Penske suspension. Four bikes, two for each rider is what goes on the truck. It shares the visual and soul of a Scrambler but like a NASCAR racer, not much else comes from the street machine.

I want to go! When should I get to the race track?

Unlike road racing these guys are in and out quick, one day of racing starting in late afternoon covers Practice and Qualifying, Heat Races, the “Last Chance Qualifier”, the Semi Finals, the Main event and the 6 rider “shoot out” called the Dash For Cash. You won’t be bored, the action is non-stop.

Tell me about the tracks?

Tracks aren’t fancy purpose built circuits. Well they are purpose built, but probably for horses! Think country fair food, ice cold beer and family friendly ticket prices. Bikes and riders are not locked away in fancy garages, it’s old school – motorcycle racing as good old fashioned family entertainment. After a MotoGP when the only time you see the riders is on the diamond screen this is pretty crazy. You can tell your friends how tiny (and fast) Shana Texter is, get autographs and see the bikes without a garage door slamming in your face. So MANY races! How does this work? Each round of the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship is conducted in a single day, typically according to the following model: 1. One Timed Practice Session 2. Two Timed Qualifying Sessions a. Fastest 48 Riders from all Qualifying sessions proceed to Heat Races. 3. Three 8- or 10-Lap Heat Races (16 Riders) Based on the results of those: Finishers 1 – 2 proceed to Dash for Cash. Finishers 1 – 4 proceed to Main. Finishers 5 – 16 proceed to Semi. 4. One 4-Lap Dash for Cash (6 Riders) 5. Two 8- or 10-Lap Semis (18 Riders) a. Finishers 1 – 3 proceed to Main. 6. One 25-Lap Main (18 Riders)

Want to see Troy try and pull this off? Here’s the schedule of the miles:

Springfield Mile #1May 24,2015 – Illinois State Fairgrounds

Sacramento, CA Mile May 30th, 2015 –   Cal Expo Fair (For Tickets Click HERE)

Du Quoin Illinois Mile July 4th, 2015  Du Quoin State Fairgrounds  (For Tickets Click HERE)

Indy Mile July 11th, 2015  Indiana State Fairgrounds (For Tickets Click HERE)

Springfield Mile #2 Sept. 6, 2015 – Illinois State Fairgrounds


Here is a little video that pretty much sums up all you need to know about why flat track is So. Much. Fun

And one of Nicky Hayden on the Lloyd Brothers Ducati at the Indy Mile. He’s so happy he literally has tears in his eyes (I REALLY hope he gets to win a mile one day)


See you there.