Larry Pegram’s race win with the Ducati 1098 R last Sunday at Road America is all the more significant as, after a three year absence from the class, Ducati returned to action in the American Superbike series only three months ago. Larry’s triumph highlights the competitiveness of the Ducati Superbike and marks Ducati’s 40th win in the class.
The performance of the Ducati 1098 R Superbike over the race weekend, in spite of difficult climatic conditions, only highlights, if further proof were needed, that it is indeed a winning machine. The main championship rivals Suzuki have dominated the American series in recent years and the squad’s rider Mat Mladin has already clocked up an impressive nine wins over the first eleven races of the season but nonetheless the squad were not able to keep pace with Pegram last weekend at Elkhart Lake. Larry was all the more satisfied in that he took the win while riding for his own team Foremost Pegram Racing, having not stepped up to the top step of the Superbike podium for ten years, the last win at Willow Springs in 1999. With nine races still to run, Pegram and his team are confident that they will achieve further success.
The Ducati 1098 has of course already reigned victorious in various national and international championships: Troy Bayliss famously rode his Superbike to an historic third world title last year (taking Ducati’s World Superbike title tally to fifteen); fellow Australian Brendan Roberts powered to victory in the 2008 Superstock 1000 FIM Cup while during the same season British rider Shane "Shakey" Byrne outclassed the competition in the British Superbike championship to take the title with an 112 point advantage.