“If there is one figure who has probably not stopped working in this difficult situation, it is that of the manager, and Paolo Ciabatti is a perfect example. The Ducati Corse Sporting Director spoke during Ducati's live chat, organized as a ‘get-together’ for Ducati Superbike, to greet his riders and give them some words of support for the future.
“It was a fantastic beginning to the season at Phillip Island,” he said. “In the first three races there was so much adrenaline, so much overtaking and so much drama. This year we have very competitive bikes and very competitive riders: unfortunately then we had to stop due to this virus but hopefully we can start again at the end of July or August.”
Ciabatti then had a few words of support and encouragement to say about each one of them…
“They are all my favourite riders, any rider in Ducati is a special rider for us. For Chaz and Scott we expect them to be title contenders, Michel is in his third year on a Ducati, so we expect him to consolidate. With Leon we met a long time ago when he was with Moriwaki but I’m pretty sure we can expect great things from him, Tati with the Motocorsa team is entering WSBK this year and we expect them to be good, Sylvain with the Brixx team needs to learn a bit more but I am sure they can all get good results this year.”
All the riders mentioned above will have the most recent Superbike creation from the Bologna-based company, the Panigale V4R that last year made Ducati fans dream about winning the title…. until halfway through the season.
“The Panigale has shown itself to be competitive and a winning machine since its debut, so with some improvements and refinements we expect it to be stronger this year. There is a lot of competition: we see Kawasaki very competitive, Yamaha also this year and for sure Honda with a full-factory team as well as BMW. I expect very close racing and our six riders to do their best because they all are very competitive,” concluded Ciabatti.
“The situation is difficult; Ducati was closed from 13 March until two weeks ago, so we could not produce any bikes during the big season for sales. Now we have resumed production full steam, we expect not only racing to resume soon but also volumes of sales as well because as a manufacturer we have to sell bikes.”