Will a Ducati Corse factory team join the Endurance World Championship and Suzuka 8-Hours?
The manufacturer is now supporting privateer teams in the championship.
Ducati didn’t shoot down the idea but outlined that it’ll be a large challenge should they decide to.
Ducati obtained significant results in their comeback bid in the WorldSBK with the Ducati Panigale V4 R (Alvaro Bautista’s cock ups notwithstanding) this season. But will a factory Ducati Corse team join the Endurance World Championship and Suzuka 8-Hours?
The designer of the Ducati 916, the late-Massimo Tamburini had envisioned to race his creation in endurance events including the prestigious Suzuka 8-Hours. That’s why he gave the bike a single-sided swingarm. In fact, he admitted that the 916’s swingarm was heavier than the regular twin-spar swingarms of its contemporaries, but it facilitates faster rear wheel changes.
The design became a Ducati signature and tradition which is carried on all the way to the latest high-end Panigales including the Ducati Panigale V4 R.
Point is, endurance racing is missing in Ducati’s motorsports dossier.
Italian magazine GPOne.com spoke to Ducati Corse Sporting Director, Paolo Ciabatti about such prospects. Ciabatti didn’t kill the idea outright but gave a “not yet.”
The 2020 EWC season has begun and Ducati will participate only in a supporting role.
“In my opinion, if we ever decide to participate in the Suzuka 8-Hours in an official way at Ducati, it will be our own project which will require a great deal of effort,” he told GPOne. “We have to plan test on the track when it is available; we have to field the best riders available in the Ducati family; and then we have to think that to win there, the Bridgestone tyres must be used.”
“A challenge in the challenge. It is fascinating, but if Ducati decides to participate, it will do so to fight for victory.”
What he meant by “our own project” means that it’ll be Ducati Corse factory effort and not in partner with endurance race teams.