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Court Jester
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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Yes, I'm afraid a lot of this article tallies with Jeremy Burgess' description of his time with Ducati. An unwillingness from the top level to make changes, which apparently meant someone admitting they were wrong..

I daresay this unfortunate stratification (and lack of communication between those stratae) and the ability of 'high-ups' to admit they have ever been wrong afflicts many companies, but is unforgivable in a company like Ducati, trying to achieve results at the highest level.

Not to mention the passion of their customers..

Hopefully they will be able to utilise this unfortunate period without successes to remedy these endemic issues within the company.

If they don't, Gigi will walk. And so far he has:

1. Looked like their best bet for progress in recent times, and

2. Cost the factory a shitload of money.

:eek:
 

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Court Jester
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
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I know mat Oxley who wrote this and he has a number of things incorrect here and it ignores a most important fact that Ducati, pre Audi, had little interest in GP. They were there because Dorna wanted them and Marketing told Corse that there was commercial value in it. They were always the smallest team in the factory line up and I know for a fact that there were times when they would have happily packed it all up. Burgess and Rossi both told some huge lies in order to cover up some equally huge mistakes they made.

But what comes out of articles like this is just how little many fans really know about Ducati. They never did well in GP. They had one perfect storm of a year where they got the jump on other manufacturers by getting the 800 right out of the gate. They took on a rider who was considered a huge risk and was a known crasher but was all that was available given that you could not promote youth into a factory back then. The Saturday night special tyres meant that Ducati had a perfect tyre for every race day which was a massive asset to the setup. Once that was taken away and the other manufacturers caught up with the engine development all of Ducati's advantage went away.
It's too easy to look back through rose-tinted glasses and consider that Ducati had some kind of 'golden age' in GP, it never happened. Too often fans confuse the superbike successes of the past with that one year of good GP results and seem to think that Ducati deserve to be at the top in MotoGP when the reality is that they never were.

That was of course all pre Audi. Now I can assure you that mentality has changed. Corse have been given 3 years to get back to regular podiums in GP. What happens if they don't? Who knows. But at least now Ducati have both the money, infrastructure and facilities to rival Honda and Yamaha ( Yamaha are not as financially sound as fans think either ) and that's what has been the main problem for Ducati. It's OK to have ideas on paper but when you have to farm out the work to 3rd parties and when those third parties are small local businesses that Ducati have been loyal to for decades then getting new parts into the race programme was always difficult to manage more than once or twice a season.

He gets a lot correct in the article of course and I can say that having just stripped down a Desmosedici the amount of different sized fixings used is beyond stupidity. There is no work flow when every third bolt you come to needs a change of tool. There has long been a lot wrong at Corse, definitely a disconnect between management and team but I'm sick of hearing about how this was the issue for Burgess and Rossi because their problems were of their own making and one day I hope someone will have the balls to talk about it.
 

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Court Jester
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
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Find another stoner to ride the beast. Even the stock bikes are hard to ride for the average rider from bitching I've heard.
I love how mine likes to be ridden, she's not for pussys

Stoner learned the bike he rode. But another fallacy is that everyone thinks he could jump back on a Ducati and do it again. It's not the same bike. The bike he rode on 2007 was never reproduced again and that's why he started to struggle. his talent overcame much but as i said, all of Ducati's brief advantage ( they had 20 different versions of the 800 ready to go before some of the other teams had finished initial development ) went away quickly. The bike today bears no resemblance to any of the bikes Stoner rode. There is no reason to think he'd have any success with it although someone who could back it in like he did might have a little better time overcoming the front end issue but that's moot anyway. It's going to be a new bike next year including new motor and even then the development has only just started because it's all change for 2016. They definitely do not want to waste time and money next season trying too hard to make it work on the bridgestone only to find they need to undo it all again for the michelin. That's my thinking anyway. Personally i won't be upset if they have a mediocre year again next season. I will if the 2016 season does not show massive improvement because that's the one that counts for the future.
 

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Max Oxley's article is about stuff I've been posting on the forums for years. Yea, the culture is messed up. It's the reason why Troy Bayliss didn't win the 2002 WSBK season (outside of a crash of his own fault). Honda had a better bike and Ducati said "our bike is better" and they knew it was underpowered, but refused to do anything about it.

The Casey Stoner era was clearly the crowning achievement because Stoner didn't keep his mouth shut and publicly humiliated Ducati over and over again, complaining about this and that. Bravo for him, nobody else was willing, even the only other rider to do well on the bike; Loris Capirossi. Maybe he understood the culture more then Stoner.

Had Ducati just done what the mechanics and riders wanted… had the management not been utterly assholes when Stoner was sick, he would probably still be riding the Duc and enjoying himself. Hindsight is always 20/20.

If they don't, Gigi will walk. And so far he has:
Gigi is only a temporary solution to a huge problem. I have a feeling he will not re-sign in order to help Aprilia's potential MotoGP entry of 2016.
 

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Court Jester
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
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Let's learn from the past but not live in it. What is it going to take?
How about this… why was Ducati successful in the past and aren't today?

- In the past the rules (WSBK/MotoGP) allowed for the use of as many motors as you wanted. So Ducati could build one-race screamers and swap them for practice/qualifying and the race. Desmodromic's were great for this because it allowed very fast valve actuation without floating the valves. In the future, the motors will all have the same rev limit AND only 5 can be used PER SEASON, so they've gotta be ultra reliable.

- In the past, Ducati had allowances in World Superbike to run prototype-level machinery and MotoGP electronics. These electronics alone are a huge asset to the team because it allows them to run special maps in every part of the track for fueling and TC. As of 2015, all of that goes away and the bikes are going to be much more restricted.

- In the past, Ducati's had special tires in both MotoGP AND World Superbike. Today they're stuck to using what everyone else has. Even though, Pirelli have made a special compound for the Ducati's (that everyone else can use) to try and help in certain conditions.

- In the past, development can be done year-round. In the future, you basically develop the bike pre-season and whatever you start the year with, is what you've gotta run the whole year with.

- In the past, Ducati (and other teams) had GPS based active suspension, which adjusted per corner. That's long gone, now all teams need to adjust pre-race and hope for the best.

Those are a few of the differences between the past and the present/future.

What Ducati has done in the past is try to make something different then everyone else. But as you can tell by what I said above, they can't do that anymore. In this restricted era, you've gotta be more LIKE your competition then UNLIKE it.

In my opinion, what Ducati needs to do is take a platform which already works; RC213V, and make a carbon copy clone. Yea, its a stupid and expensive idea, but absolutely nothing else is going to work. They either bite the bullet and spend the money OR walk away from the sport. They have excellent outside resources, the gentlemen who made the Desmosecidi and Superquadratta motors for instance. So its all about coming up with a design which is common knowledge and spending the rest of this year tweaking it.

I have a feeling, they'll go with a more RSV4 design, rather then a RC213V. Ditching the 90 degree, desmo design in favor of a narrower V, to bring the motor more forward in the frame. But we don't have to wait too long, I'm sure the first versions of the bike will be ready to test soon and the Italian spy photographers will be all over it.

In terms of making internal personal changes. I think they should hire an outside firm to produce and support the bike. They can still work out of Bologna at Ducati Corse, but it needs to be a completely different group of people. Kinda of what teams do in F1, they bring in designers and team support/principals from all over the world in order to make it happen. Ducati needs to take a huge step forward in this area and with an all-new bike for 2015, maybe they'll fix the personal as well.
 
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