2014 Ducati Superbike Team with Davide Giugliano & Chaz Davies
Since the World Superbike Championship began in 1988, Ducati owns the bragging rights with a total of 31 titles – 17 manufacturer and 14 rider.
The last titles – both manufacturer and rider – arrived in 2011 with Carlos Checa at the controls of the Ducati 1198R Superbike. But when the much-anticipated 1199 began competing last season in World SBK, results were anything but good.
Wanting to get back to the top, Ducati has changed much for the 2014 World Superbike Championship, which begins February 23 at Phillip Island in Australia.
The changes include a restructuring of management, a return with organizers Feel Racing, and the signing of two pilots for the “Ducati Superbike Team” rider roster – Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies.
And everything, including the 1199 Panigale superbikes, was launched Monday from the Ducati Auditorium in Borgo Panigale. The event, which was streamed live from Telcom Italia – a team sponsor with the TIM Brand, featured some of the most important figures in Ducati’s 2014 World Superbike efforts.
Besides Davies, 26, and Giugliano, 24, the launch included Claudio Domenicali (CEO Ducati Motor Holding), Luigi Dall’Igna (General Manager Ducati Corse), Paolo Ciabatti (Sporting Director Ducati Corse), Ernesto Marinelli (SBK Project Director) and Team Manager Serafino Foti.
The 2014 versions of the 1199 Panigale was unveiled with its new racing livery that includes the team’s main sponsors TIM, Fiamm, Valsir and Diadora.
Attached above is a video describing the development of the 1199 Panigale for 2014 World SBK; below are quotes from Ducati’s top players at the launch, along with a photo gallery.
Claudio Domenicali (CEO Ducati Motor Holding) says: “It is with great satisfaction that I open the new 2014 racing season with the presentation of the Ducati Superbike team. Using a movie analogy, this is our ‘Back to the Future’, where Ducati starts from its origins and essential values, looking forward decisively towards new challenges and new goals.
“As it always has been, Superbike is an important element for Ducati, its fans and enthusiasts and we take great interest in it. Its proximity to the product, the fact that Ducati made its name in the modern era thanks to the many victories of its twin-cylinder machines in this championship for production-derived bikes, the chance to develop solutions and kits to offer to our clients and fans, all of this makes Superbike a strategic championship for us.
“Ducati and its fans look forward to seeing the Panigale fighting for the top step of the rostrum, and Luigi Dall’Igna certainly has the experience and competence with which to take the team in that direction. I wish them all the best of luck, especially our two new riders Chaz and Davide who, I am sure, will do everything they can to put the smile back on the faces of the Ducatisti.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (General Manager Ducati Corse) says: “The results of the latest tests are encouraging. Both riders were able to record important lap times but more important is the fact that their comments regarding the bike have been positive.
“This is a key factor, especially in view of the experience they have accumulated in recent seasons and the fact that both were riding bikes of reference until just a few months ago. They are together providing us with the feedback needed in order to develop the 1199 Panigale in the best possible way. There is of course a lot of work still to do but I am confident and optimistic and believe that over the course of this coming championship we will get the bike back to where it deserves to be.”
Paolo Ciabatti (Sporting Director Ducati Corse) says: “2014 gets off to a good start. We have taken the decision to run the Superbike team directly once more, in conjunction with Feel Racing. We have won many titles with the Feel Racing team in the past and seeing as they are based in Crespellano, close to Bologna, it is as if they are an offshoot of Ducati Corse. We have two new riders, Chaz and Davide who, as well as being young, are also very ambitious and competitive, and with them we hope that we will soon get back to achieving the kind of results we expect.
“To win against the four-cylinders will not be easy but we think that we can achieve good results this year and finally bring satisfaction to our fans with the 1199 Panigale.”
Ernesto Marinelli (Ducati Superbike Team SBK Project Director) says: “The 2014 version of the Panigale has undergone various evolutions since last year. I would say the main one regards the electronics system that has been completely modified, generating not only an advantage in terms of functionality but also a lower overall weight.
“With regard to the chassis, the biggest change involves the new Ӧhlins suspension, which this season has a price cap imposed by the regulations. The braking system has also changed, with new 328mm Brembo front discs, and the engine has undergone evolution in order to achieve greater performance. We believe that we have a good bike/rider package with which to bring Ducati back to the positions that count.”
Serafino Foti (Ducati Superbike Team Manager) says: “I think that Chaz and Davide have a characteristic in common, in that neither of them has yet reached the apex of his career, so this gives them both great motivation. We will learn more about our level of competitiveness in about a month’s time in Australia but the important thing is to have faith in the bikes and to know that we have given our all throughout this first phase.
“Another important thing is not to lose focus during the season, as this will undoubtedly be a very difficult championship of the highest level. The goal is to give the Ducati fans the kind of excitement that they experienced in the past – we will give it our all!”
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) says: “I haven’t been riding the Panigale for very long yet but I feel that my bike has a lot of potential still to explore and evaluate. It’s important to continue to work hard and to stay focused on improving each component of the bike but this is a challenge that I’m very much looking forward to.
“I think that the bike has the potential to win races; we just need to keep working in the same direction and make the most of every opportunity that presents itself during race weekends. I think Davide and I will develop a strong working relationship and this will allow us to support and spur each other on to achieve positive results on the track.”
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) says: “My new Panigale is something amazing, a bike that immediately feels like mine and with which I’m immediately in tune. I’m very pleased with how the bike is developing and so this is already very positive.
“Chaz is undoubtedly a great rider, a great talent and this season he will surely be one of my toughest rivals but I know that we’ll work together and will encourage each other to always do our best. We also owe it to the fans of course, as we want everybody who has always followed and supported Ducati to have fun and enjoy the results! I’m more than ready to get going and can’t wait to start the championship.”