Well, this is a bit of a surprise, considering how well the 1198 does, but Ducati has announced that it will withdraw from World Superbike for the 2011 season, and will not support a factory team.
You’d think that, if you were spending big money on a world-class motorcycle racing team, you’d prevent your riders from doing things that might endanger their health during the racing season, but apparently not.
Reigning world champion Valentino Rossi joins his teammate Jorge Lorenzo on the “recently bitten by a dirt bike” list. Rossi crashed his dirt bike yesterday in Italy and reportedly injured his back and shoulder in the fall.
Perhaps these motorcycle racers have some sort of adrenaline junkie problem.
As hard as that is to believe.
BMW is very proud of their new, hyper-powerful literbike, the S1000RR. They put a WSBK racing team together as soon as they could, and they figured with the awesome RWHP (185HP, dynoed stock) of the machine, they could make the brand shine in motorsports.
Sadly it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Troy Corser has been notably absent from the platform since 2009. Meanwhile, Ruben Xaus seems to be the designated BMW crash test dummy. Somehow, he managed to crash four–count ’em, four–S1000RRs at Philip Island, then sat out the race itself.
So, the rumor is that BMW is just about ready to dump him from the team, presumably replacing him with someone who can manage to a) stay on the motorcycle, and b) keep the motorcycle from rolling over like a weasel and exposing its softer bits.
The thing is, Ruben’s a Spaniard, so they probably don’t want to get rid of him yet, as the Valencia and Portimao circuits, held in Spain and Portugal respectively, are coming up. So, Ruben’s expected to be a big draw there, among the home crowd.
So, the word is, they’ll wait until after that to drive him off the team like some sort of poison troll, sometime in mid-season.
But, who knows. These rumor things are always sketchy. It could be some disgruntled factory tech mouthing off. Or it could be that Xaus has a very short time to get his act together, before he’s back in Valencia, selling oranges to tourists.
I really had high hopes for the S1000RR after all the hype it got. Oh, well, maybe Troy Corser will win in Portimao. Maybe Xaus will win in Valencia. Maybe swine will streak through the sky like eagles.