“It's difficult for them to make a mistake twice”
Sharply contrasting in fortunes in 2007, the MotoGP axis of power experienced a shift in favour of Ducati last season at the expense of antecedent champions Honda.
The Italian factory are the current holders of the
individual, team and factory titles in the premier class but, as CEO Claudio Domenicali stated last week at the ‘Wrooom' team launch in Italy, Ducati are expectant of a Japanese backlash with the 2008 RC212V.
“I think the (800cc) bikes were all well done and all the bikes could achieve a good level of performance”, said Domenicali, before expressing his surprise at Honda's initial struggles. “The bike which worried us most initially was Honda, because they have a technological capacity which does not require any presentation. Usually when there are major rule changes, like in 2002, that's a team that have always got the project right. So perhaps Honda is the one that was not up to expectations this time.”
“As for the bike I fear most for 2008? Honda again, because I think that they can make a mistake once but it's difficult for them to make a mistake twice”, he continued, echoing something of a common consensus in the MotoGP paddock.
Not solely focusing on his rivals with so many positive things to talk about at the traditional ski meeting presentation, Domenicali also compared the satisfaction of winning with a prototype to the sensation of victory in a superbike competition, something that Ducati have also experienced in recent years.
“As an engineer, (it is nicer to win) with a prototype. Because MotoGP is ´freer'. It allows one to use all of one's imagination and to anticipate evolutions of the future. The main difference is that with a superbike you must race with a bike that is already manufactured, so you cannot do an extreme development.”
“With MotoGP you take pure prototypes, so it's like an experiment. We're talking about evolution and -although we won't see this in 2008- in 2009 or 2010 we are developing an extreme concept of advanced bike, like a prototype championship. We are developing it for the competitions as well as for a series product."
DORNA / CAPSIS International