British Superbikes: Rivals comments on Airwaves Ducati withdrawal
The GSE Racing team is to quit racing after a rule row for 2008, which will see them leave British Superbikes.
The Ducati squad say they cannot safely race the new 1098R machine as 2008 British Superbikes rules will not allow the fitment of race pistons - a change which IS allowed in World Superbikes. Here is what rival team bosses say.
Paul Bird, Stobart Honda: “I’ve run Ducati but that was then. This is now and my view is that Ducati have got the 200cc advantage.
“If there’s a problem with the piston, then let’s see the proof. Give the piston to an independent engineering company like Ricardo and let them assess it.
“But I think the bike should be to Supersport-spec rules like the fours have to be. I don’t agree with the £100,000 factory bike, not with the new rules. We’re trying to get away from all that.”
Nick Morgan, MSS Kawasaki: “Personally I’ve no problem with the race piston, providing it’s got the same shape crown as the stock piston.
Ducati reckon they have a problem. Then prove it.
“They’ve got to build 1000 bikes by June, surely they have a piston they can show us to let us understand why they can’t race with it?”
Neil Tuxworth, Honda Racing: “I’d like to see Ducati or any other manufacturer racing in BSB, providing they abide by the rules of the championship.
“There is a facility within the rules that if any manufacturer has a internal component that is not suited to racing – they can ask the MCRCB to consider giving special dispensation to change it.
“But if anyone is trying to bring a performance related item it wouldn’t be considered.”
Rob McElnea, Yamaha Racing: “If John Hackett or any other Ducati dealer supplies road bikes to Airwaves and there’s a piston problem, then by all means lets look at that just like we did when there was a con-rod problem when the 1000cc fours were first introduced.
“What we don’t want in BSB anymore are these prototype-style bikes. Hackett’s saying he’s ordered 12 road bikes and will build two into racers.
“That’s fine and is exactly what all the other teams do. We don’t want to push anyone out of the series but at the end of the day we’ve all got to abide by the rules.”