Tag Archives: 2015

New Rules, Old Resentments. Valentino Rossi Won’t Forget 2015 A fresh MotoGP season reignites rivalries; we win.

Pedrosa, Rossi, Lorenzo, and Marquez at Qatar press conference 2016 New season, new tires, new spec software, and the same-old bitterness. For the first time since 2015, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, and Dani Pedrosa gathered for the traditional pre-race press conference for the opening round of the 2016 MotoGP season in Qatar. They were joined by Andrea Iannone and Maverick Viñales, the rising stars from Ducati and Suzuki, both determined to be among the protagonists in the coming season. As was predictable, there was not a gaze between Rossi and Marquez, divided by the reigning world champion Lorenzo, who was sitting in the middle. The atmosphere was icy, to say the least. Rossi confessed that he hasn’t forgotten what happened at Malaysia and then dragged on into the Valencia finale last year. He also stressed his admiration for the late Formula 1 star Ayrton Senna who settled his score with Alain Prost at Suzuka in 1990. Was it a warning for his young rival? A shot across his bow? “In the last races of the 2015 season something happened,” said Rossi. “It was something different from what we were used to seeing. I would have liked that things would have gone in a different way, and not only for the final result. It’s normal that they (the Spanish riders) don’t want to speak about it and it’s true that we cannot go on and on discussing what happened last year. It’s not useful to change. Finally it’s time to race and I really look forward to it. The most important thing is to be competitive from the very beginning. The Qatar GP is very important, you get the same 25 points, but winning at Losail (as Rossi did in 2015) has a special value because it’s the first round. I have always had good results here in Qatar but Lorenzo is the favorite. He was the strongest rider in the winter, claiming the top of the timesheets on two of the three testing sessions. He will try to do his strategy also with the Michelin tires. He will try to go away. The qualifying session should be easier for me this year with the Michelin tires, because you can do 2 or 3 laps and this suits better my style.” Marc Marquez gazes at Valentino Rossi In addition to fighting with Jorge Lorenzo, who remains the number-one contender for the MotoGP title, Rossi has a difficult task, namely, beating Marquez on track and taming his feelings for revenge. “Only afterwards, I understood the greatness of Senna,” continued Rossi. “He showed he had courage.” At that time, in fact, Rossi was a fan of Nigel Mansell and when Prost joined Ferrari, the young Valentino supported him. Referring to the example from Formula 1, Rossi reassured, “I think nothing particularly special will happen on track and not because it’s dangerous. The danger depends on the speed, if you go slow, it’s not dangerous. Respect counts: I hope that respect will prevail on track.” Marquez seemed uncomfortable when Valentino repeated that: “the last races of last year added something different compared to normal.” Marquez brushed off the question on whether the pair’s rivalry would intensify and said he would use the experience he gained in 2015 to improve. “I have to fight against 20 opponents to win the title, not only Valentino,” said Marquez. “Winning the championship is my target. This year will be an interesting season because everything looks closer and compared to the past there is more balance. We will try to fight for the championship and use the experience from last year from the beginning of the season to the end and fight again for the title until Valencia. The Qatar circuit doesn’t suit me and my Honda, but we can play around our technical difficulties with motivation. My attitude doesn’t change; I always give my best on track!” And then, speaking with the Spanish media, he returned on the subject of the rivalry: “Rossi repeats always the same things, he has said that so many times that in the end he will also convince me that I have been unfair.” MotoGP riders at Qatar Press Conference 2016 Starting tonight, 37-year old Rossi and 23-year old Marquez will duel on track to the very last hundredth of a second, but helmets off, they will ignore each other. “Only respect on track counts,” says Rossi. “The personal relationships cannot be the same.” This is Rossi’s double mission facing his 21st Grand Prix season. If the revenge feeling prevails, Rossi has everything to lose, but if he tries to have fun and enjoy racing as he has always done, anything can be possible. Even a 10th title. On his side, the nine-time world champion can count on his experience, his unquestionable talent and his extraordinary skill to adapt to the changes (this year the switch to the Michelin tires and the introduction of the unified electronics software). He feels in perfect shape and has strong motivation. Will this be enough? At 37-years old, The Doctor will have to fight against the younger Lorenzo and Marquez, who are as fast, determined, and ruthless as he used to be against his historical rivals Max Biaggi and Sete Gibernau. Jorge Lorenzo looks on at Qatar Press Conference 2016 Lorenzo dominated winter testing and is able to get the most out of his Yamaha M1. Marquez has suffered more with his Honda due to the new software that the team is still struggling to tame due to the more aggressive engine of the RC213V, but he will be there fighting for the top positions. Last year, Rossi took advantage of the troubles that, for different reasons, affected his teammate and the Honda riders. The 2016 championship looks different and more difficult for the Italian, but Rossi reassures us that he is “facing the new season with the same enthusiasm and motivation.” Regarding the future, his intention is to continue racing for two more years with Yamaha. Two more seasons of spectacular battles and new challenges. There is no time for revenge. Marc Marquez looks on at Valentino Rossi speaks. Pedrosa, Rossi, Lorenzo, and Marquez at Qatar Press Conference 2016. Jorge Lorenzo reflects at Qatar Press Conference 2016. Viñales, Pedrosa, Rossi, Lorenzo, Marquez, and Iannone at Qatar Press Conference 2016. Read More

Ducati Sales to Record Level in 2015

12662528_1205324999496056_3449822462890437959_n Ducati Motors Press Release: In 2015, Ducati North America increased unit sales by +14.1%, based on 12,132 total motorcycles sold in the United States, Canada and Mexico. This is the sixth year the company has shown impressive overall sales growth in its largest worldwide sales region. All three countries reached historical sales levels, with the United States at 9,674 units sold (up +10%) and northern neighbor Canada at 1,458 bikes (up +12%).  Mexico, thanks to the addition of new exclusive Ducati dealers, experienced significant increases, with 1,003 motorcycles sold – a growth rate of more than 85%. In 2015, the top models sold by the Bologna-based manufacturer in North America have been the hugely popular new Scrambler line of urban naked bikes, the lightweight, 148 horsepower 899 Panigale sport bike and the Monster 821.  Notably, these three models have shown special appeal to the wave of new and younger riders entering the world of motorcycles.  In the U.S., Ducati’s largest single worldwide market, power reigns. The radical 1299 Panigale and sport-touring Multistrada 1200, while 2015 sales standouts, also received strong critical acclaim for technological advancements in motorcycle design and riding features. “Our success in North America is the result of the hard work of the entire Ducati organization and our network of dedicated dealers,” Dominique Cheraki, outgoing CEO of Ducati North America. “I am proud of what we have collectively achieved during the past five years of my tenure and I’m enthusiastic of what the future holds for the brand.” Future growth is strongly anticipated in 2016 since more than 45% of Ducati’s model line-up will be all-new offerings.  Two new motorcycles in particular, the XDiavel and the Multistrada 1200 Enduro, offer the potential to tap rider segments that were left untouched by any Ducati product in the past. The XDiavel, the undisputed star of the EICMA show in Milan, blends design, technology and unparalleled performance to deliver a relaxed riding experience that merges the foot-forward riding position of a typical cruiser with the adrenalin rush of a true sport machine.  Riders will have the opportunity to find out for themselves during Ducati’s “XDiavel Experience Tour,” which will visit more than 15 cruiser hot spots, starting with Phoenix on February 20, through Daytona Bike Week and beyond.  Ducati dealers will have XDiavel models available for sale in their showrooms early this Spring. The “Wild Side” of Ducati comes in the form of the highly anticipated Multistrada 1200 Enduro, arriving at Ducati dealers in April.  Building on years of experience elevating the technological superiority of the Multistrada, engineers in Bologna have crafted the Enduro model with 19-inch front wheel and 7.9 gallon gas tank for long distances.  The motorcycle is also available with various off-road accessories as well as knobby tires and other features designed for the avid dual-sport rider. Jason Chinnock now leads as newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, coming from Automobili Lamborghini America where he was in charge of marketing operations. Chinnock is no stranger to Ducati, having worked for the company in sales, marketing and dealer operations roles since 2000. “It’s a tremendous honor and responsibility to lead Ducati North America into the next chapter,” said Chinnock. “We have a clear objective to continue the growth of our brand in a manner that delivers a premium experience to our owners and profitable business for our dealer partners. I am confident that we have a strong internal management team. This, coupled with an outstanding dealer network and a tremendous product offering, will give us the ability to fully capitalize on the opportunity in this market.” For more information: www.ducati.com Read More