Alistair Kennedy: Why we didn't go with Ducati

Published: 23 December 2008

Alistair Kennedy has spoken out about the decision to take North West 200 backing to Rob McElnea’s Yamaha team over forming his own squad and running Ducati machinery.

Kennedy was contemplating setting up his own team around Michael Rutter for 2009 after a deal to run factory-backed Ducati’s fell out of bed.

Kennedy was on the verge of sealing an official Ducati deal with Brendan Roberts ready to sign for his refreshed BSB squad.

But when Roberts was tempted away by a slot with Guandalini Ducati, the factory supported reportedly also vanished.

And with Kennedy desperate to keep hold of Rutter as part of his obvious road racing links, Kennedy told MCN the two were nearing setting up their own team before going with Rob Mac.

"There wasn’t a riding position as part of the deal to have Brendan but we still wanted him in the team in a managerial role," explained Kennedy.

"But Michael’s initial reaction was that he wanted to keep racing in BSB. And when the Brendan situation changed we could still have ran factory bikes with John Laverty and the support of Buildbase.

But when we looked at the economics of it all it just wasn’t the right time to be doing it.

2009 didn’t feel like the right time to do it and at the current stage I believed North West 200 should continue as a title sponsor and not a team itself.

When Michael and I looked at the options available Rob looked like the best way to go.

We knew he wanted to do the roads, he had the capacity to run another bike, he has experience, and the Yamaha appears to be the bike to be on next season.

We had been evaluating the situation for twelve months and it was always between having our own Ducati team or going with Rob."