Oxford Racing Ducati team boss Steve Moore has taken delivery of the newest works swingarm from the Bologna factory and hopes that in concert with other alterations, it can help the team in their quest for the top spot.
Moore was offered a unit at the start of the season but declined as money was better spent elsewhere but now, with rider Tommy Bridewell second in the standings but still missing a 2019 win in the Bennetts-backed championship, it is time.
“The new swingarm had almost become a punchline this season, but we’re doing OK on the version we have had so far,” Moore told bikesportnews.com.
“Just before round one, the factory called to say the new version was coming and did we want to be included for production. The test results were varied but the main advantage came from it being lighter than the F19 swingarm we had already.
We declined as budget was better spent elsewhere. We have to carefully choose where to best spend the money.”
The newer swingarm had already been installed by Be Wiser Ducati but seemed to be causing problems for Josh Brookes and, to a lesser degree, Scott Redding. The pipes are heavy and when the rear of the bike lifted to a certain height, the relative lightness of the upgraded swingarm wasn’t enough to counterbalance, allowing the rear to try and occupy the space where the rider’s head should be.
The older swinger - as used by Bridewell - is heavier and keeping the rear closer to the ground. Another upgrade made the works version something the team believed would be significant-enough difference, so the cheque was written.
“As the season has gone on the swingarm design changed slightly and now the latest version allows a greater range of gearing and swingarm length options. So the, ‘Is it worth it?’ equation swung to yes,” continued Moore.
“The trade off was we had to wait for production so it wasn’t here in time for Knockhill, these are not off the shelf production items but with the WorldSBK in summer break, the first one became available to us.
The lightness and better range of swingarm length vs gearing options will help for the upcoming rounds. It’s become important as in BSB the gearbox ratios are fixed for the season and with such a new bike there was no time to design and produce BSB track ratio ready for round one.
“So gearing has been a compromise at a few circuits, especially with the V4R max engine speed capped at the road bike limit, it’s designed to rev a lot higher than a road bike.
So we will use it for Thruxton and see what Tommy thinks. I don’t expect it to make a big difference or for him to notice a night and day change, but we only need a small step up to the top step. And who doesn’t like new factory parts?”