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Ciabatti: "At the Suzuka 8 Hours, we would like to bring MotoGP and SBK riders in 2025."

"We would have liked to do it already this year, but unfortunately calendars and commitments do not allow us to do it. For the 2024 edition there will be Mizuno, who has already shown with Ducati that he is ready to win at Suzuka."

SBK: Ciabatti:

Paolo Ciabatti has held the position of Ducati's project manager in off-road since the start of this year. In addition to his involvement in motocross, the manager from Turin also continues his commitment to coordinating the sporting activities of the Borgo Panigale company in the main national SBK and SSP championships.

Among these is, of course, All Japan Superbike, which as of this year sees the Rossa in action with the Kagayama team and its rider Ryo Mizuno. We spoke with Ciabatti on Monday about the weekend in Mantua, but at the same time broached the subject of the new challenge in the Land of the Rising Sun.

"As you well know Ducati has decided to relaunch with this challenge in the All Japan Superbike ," he told us, "it is a completely new project, recently started, but capable of paying off. At the first round in Suzuka last week, Mizuno and the Kagayama team achieved an extraordinary podium finish. The whole team was happy with this performance, but there was also a hint of regret, because without the red flag the victory probably could have come. In addition, the conditions were not easy because of the low temperatures. Some shifts were shortened from the initial schedule, and it was not a given that we would be competitive right away with so little time available. The fact is that the start turned out to be encouraging and we set a course to follow."

In Japan you have to contend with Honda, Yamaha and more.
"We are aware that it is a tough challenge, but Ducati believes very much in this project, in fact we have relied on a great experienced team like Kagayama. There is a continuous exchange of information between ours and their engineers to try to improve the Panigale and be protagonists as we did in the first race."

In July we will see Ducati at the Suzuka 8 Hours, which is the premium race in Endurance racing. What should we expect?
"We will participate, but not in a factory capacity. Of course, our engineers will be there, and in cooperation with the Japanese engineers they will try to collect as much data as possible to gain additional knowledge. At the Suzuka 8 Hours we know very well who we are up against, and as a result we are aware that it will be a very demanding challenge."

Other than Mizuno, who will be the riders?
"I don't deny that we would have liked to bring our MotoGP and Superbike riders, but unfortunately we can't because of calendars and the many commitments scheduled during the summer. Also, a race like Suzuka, has to be prepared with testing, because we don't want to leave any stone unturned and the goal is to be competitive. That said, we would like to involve them for the 2025 edition."

For this year's edition, do you already have any ideas in regards to your riders?
"There will be Mizuno, who knows the 8 Hours and Suzuka well. For the other two names we are currently weighing up some names and you will know soon. What I can say is that for now we are evaluating in the various national championships."


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