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Sunday, 14 February 2016
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Checa: Audi has money and tech

- News

Carlos Checa - GPOne.comOn the eve of the third round of the WSBK championship, at Assen, there is considerable talk about Audi's recent acquisition of Ducati. Will it have an effect on the Italian marque's race programs?

Carlos Checa emerges from his garage after a long meeting with technical director Marco Lozej, and he is immediately faced with the question of the day.

"Audi?  I like the Q7 a lot, so if I win another world championship, I think I would deserve one.  Don't you agree?"

And then the Spaniard becomes a little more serious: "I won't change anything on track, and we are preparing for the race as we always do.  Assen is a pretty good circuit for us (last year he won race two, ed.) and we need to score as many points as possible, since we will suffer at Monza."

Turning again to Audi: "It's good news because the Germans have money and technology. Ducati was also talking to other investors, but they were more financial companies than manufacturing companies, so it could have been a shot in the dark.  The Germans, however, are a solid company with excellent technological knowledge.  It's the best thing that could have happened."

But are there any risks? "No, because I'm sure Ducati will stay 100% Italian, maintaining its headquarters in Bologna, and working with the same technicians they have now."

What about a return of the official factory Ducati team for 2013?

"It's still too early to talk - commented Ernesto Marinelli, head of the WSBK program for the Italian manufacturer - but I can assure you that it isn't easy to reorganize a factory team, so it's not something you do in a couple of days."

"The agreement must still be approved by the antitrust authorities, and obviously nothing has changed yet in the race department - Marinelli continued - Everyone is very excited, however, because Audi has some incredible technology, and we know how to build good race bikes. It could result in a great combination."

Maybe a twin-cylinder diesel, like the one Audi showed at Le Mans...

Marinelli smiles big: "It would be a strange but exciting challenge.  They know how to build very high performance diesel engines, and if they teach us to do it, why not?"