This being Misano, and only slightly further down the A14 Autostrada from Bologna than Imola is, there were more red suits than usual in attendance at Misano’s WorldSBK round.
Ducati Corse engineering chief Gigi Dall’Igna was in Superbike town on Saturday, checking up on his official and unofficial machines and riders.
With Alvaro Bautista riding high on the official Aruba Ducati squad, but others not quite as far ahead with their V4Rs right now, the new bike is a both quite a game-changer in outright performance, and not quite translating that into real results for some others.
Dall’Igna says this is mostly because the bike is so new, but that – of course - winning in WorldSBK was an immediate, not a delayed, aim.
“Every time we work to win races and championships and the programme was for sure to try to win,” said Dall’Igna. “It has not been easy because we fight from the beginning of my Ducati experience with Rea and Kawasaki and it was for sure not easy to beat them. But for sure this is the target every time that a Ducati bike puts a wheel on the ground.”
Dall’Igna refutes any suggestion that Ducati had to build a bike that is at the upper end of the €40,000 streetbike limit for homologated WorldSBK motorcycles, playing down that aspect of why some people think the Ducati has been so potent from the start. It is more about the preparation and execution of the racing version.
“I do not think the price of the streetbike is one of he most important things in the championship,” said Dall’Igna. “The most important is the price of the ‘Superbike’ bike.
Honestly speaking I do not think that the other bikes are cheaper than ours; the bikes that we use during the race. I do not think the Kawasaki or Yamaha is cheaper than the Ducati (in race trim). It is not important the starting point.”
Some say that Ducati has read the rulebook well, and some that they have read it too well, staying inside the laws of the technical regulation but building a bike to be a major step up on the more roadbike compromised opposition.
Dall’Igna was certainly clear in his answer about reading the rulebook well. “For sure I agree,” he stated. “We had more or less this kind of comment, even when I was not in Ducati. So I think that a chief engineer has to read the rules very well at the beginning and try to find out the best compromise with the streetbike, and the Superbike.
“I did a cassette type gearbox when it was possible (on the original RSV-4 Aprilia when he was engineering chief there). But that is normal. I think all of us have to read the rulebook before you take a decision.”