Vicki’s View


Bayliss to Compete on a Ducati in All One-Mile AMA Pro Grand National Events   

It’s official, Troy Bayliss is coming to America to chase his dream of winning a flat track mile.  In a factory supported five race deal with the legendary Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team, and financial backing provided by noted Ducati collector James E. Dillard III,  Bayliss will compete alongside teammate Johnny Lewis.  Bayliss, a three time World Superbike Champion is a long time Ducati racer as well as a busy brand ambassador who most recently filled in for Davide Giugliano on the Superbike Team for the two opening races, so it’s no surprise he (and Johnny Lewis) will be racing Ducati 1100cc air cooled 2 valve engines on custom chassis’s with Penske suspensions.

Ducati fans familiar with flat track know the Lloyd Brothers have been fielding Ducati racers for years and are considered the preeminent experts at making Ducati’s go fast and turn left on dirt. Adding Troy Bayliss to the mix, who is, in our opinion, the most capable dirt and flat track Ducati racer in the world at the moment is a combination with true potential.  Say’s CEO of Ducati North America, Dominique Cheraki, “I think Ducati fans around the world will be excited about this project, as you know anything can happen when Troy sits on a Ducati.”

Bayliss: “Dirt and flat track racing are where I cut my teeth as a junior. Everything I have learned on the dirt helped me through my career in road racing and to find myself back where it all started makes me feel young again,” said Bayliss. “To race the Grand Nationals will be a challenge, but to compete with the Lloyd Brothers on the Ducati had to be done. Flat track is on the up here in Australia. We have run the Troy Bayliss Classic for the past three years and mixing it up with Henry Wiles, Jared Mees and Sammy Halbert has been great. I really look forward to my time in the US of A.”

Lewis, who is new to the team but accomplished in the sport, has a big season ahead of himself as well as an introduction to the sort of Ducati fan passion few brands experience. “I couldn’t be more excited to join a program like Lloyd Brothers Motorsports,” said Johnny Lewis. “I feel the Ducati will be the best bike I have ever been given a chance to throw a leg over in the AMA Pro Flat Track Championship. With this team and their supporters, I feel we can look forward to some great performances this season. I have been working hard this off season, training on and off of the bikes in Florida and I know that the Lloyd Brothers have been making constant improvements to the bikes to provide me with the opportunity to once again be a podium contender at each race.”  Lewis will race the whole season and the X Games as well in addition to the miles. Yes, you read that right.  A Ducati is going to the X Games in Austin, flat track has been added to the program for the first time in 2015.

But wait, there’s more… and DucTalk are part of the sponsor package that helped put this together for Troy Bayliss and Lloyd Brothers Motorsport team and will be traveling to the miles with the crew.  Stay tuned for details on how to join us. Here’s the schedule:

Troy Bayliss’ Race Schedule – 2015 AMA Pro Grand National Series

  • May 24 – Springfield Mile (Round 3)
  • May 30 – Sacramento Mile (Round 4)
  • July 4 – Du Quoin Mile (Round 7)
  • July 11 – Indy Mile (Round 8)
  • September 6 – Springfield Mile II (Round 13)





Yesterday, Ducati fans worldwide tuned in to a race run in the night and were treated to a day like no other.  It had been a long time in the making. In the process pride was swallowed, friendships and careers destroyed, help was sought from unlikely places and the total team structure was turned upside down. But the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be the 3600 bulbs that light the Losail Circuit, where every night since Thursday the Ducati team took to the track on the all new GP15 and looked more and more likely in possession of what could legitimately be described as a track weapon. Frankly it seemed too good too soon.

For the rest click HERE

Vicki Smith for's insight:

Ducati fans, happy to no longer be called "long suffering", the end is here

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