May 7, 2001
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Ducati issued a press release at the Spanish Grand Prix stating that the company will investigate building a four-stroke GP bike but will remain committed to the Superbike World Championship. The release read as follows:<BR><BR>"THE STUDY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A FOUR-STROKE GP CLASS DUCATI PROTOTYPE BIKE GETS UNDERWAY – OFFICIAL INVOLVEMENT IN WORLD SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP TO CONTINUE<BR><BR>"Jerez de la Frontera, May 4, 2001<BR><BR>"Ducati Motor Holding SpA has decided to entrust its dedicated racing structure, Ducati Corse, with the task of studying the construction of a four-stroke prototype, which will eventually take part in the Grand Prix World Championship in the near future.<BR><BR>"Racing forms part of Ducati's ‘DNA' and has always represented the main promotional ‘vehicle' for the Borgo Panigale-based manufacturer.<BR><BR>"Ducati is the most successful manufacturer in the history of World Superbike, the championship reserved for four-stroke, large capacity production-based sportsbikes, and has won 17 titles (8 Riders' and 9 Manufacturers') in this category of racing since 1990.<BR><BR>"This remarkable record, which has been achieved with its ‘desmodromic' twin cylinder bikes, has contributed to the extraordinary commercial success of the Ducati marque, which has paralleled success in the World Superbike Championship.<BR><BR>"A careful analysis of the opportunities offered by the new regulations, which allow 990cc four-stroke prototypes to take part in the GP category, together with the company's recent success, which saw a record production run of 39,000 motorbikes in the year 2000, has convinced Ducati to embark on this ambitious new project.<BR><BR>"Ducati Corse engineers are working on taking the concept of the twin-cylinder ‘desmodromic' engine to its extreme limit. This radical new engine will eventually be inserted in a tubular trestle frame, in the best tradition of the Borgo Panigale manufacturer. The aim is to build a competitive and innovative prototype while at the same time maintaining the features that have made Ducati famous and successful throughout the world.<BR><BR>"Innovative and avant-guard ideas, which have become the key characteristics of the success and exclusivity of Ducati bikes all over the world, will in the future be experimented not only in Superbike but also in GP racing and will help to further increase the quality and performance of Ducati's road models.<BR><BR>"In the coming years Ducati will therefore be involved with factory teams on two fronts: in Superbike for the promotion and development of its own production bikes and in Grands Prix for the experimentation of new technologies."