Ducati Talks About Ben Spies In MotoAmerica

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Ducati Sport Director Paolo Ciabatti says that Ducati would provide Ben Spies with World Superbike-level equipment for an assault on the 2018 MotoAmerica Series, but only if sponsorship money could fund the team.

Speaking to crash.net, Ciabatti said that Ducati doesn’t have the budget to race in the MotoAmerica Series, but it would need a team similar to Paul Bird’s British Superbike team in order to make a MotoAmerica partnership.

“I heard that some people are trying to put together a package for MotoAmerica,” Ciabatti told crash.net. “But this is all I know at the moment. We told our subsidiary that obviously if we know it in time we are able to provide a package with World Superbike material, with small modifications needed for MotoAmerica. And that’s it for the moment. I think it’s still more of an idea than a project."

“Well, obviously it [a racing presence in America] is always good. Ducati, we were in the AMA for many years."

Paolo Ciabatti

“Personally, it would be great because Ben is a friend. He is still a great rider but I didn’t speak to Ben. I just heard from our subsidiary that some people approached them and that they had this plan. Actually, they didn’t mention Spies. I was reading on social media as well. So I know Ben would like to somehow get back to some sort of racing, probably in the States. Let’s see for the moment. For us, it’s more of a ‘wait-and-see.’ As Ducati we don’t have any budget to go racing in the States. Nor does our subsidiary.

So it has to be a serious private effort privately funded. Obviously, we would be happy to provide material. We are happy to provide material without making any margin but it needs to be paid. We cannot provide it for free."

“Well, obviously it (a racing presence in America) is always good. Ducati, we were in the AMA for many years. From one side we think that the job of the company, centrally, is to try and do as good as possible here [MotoGP] and in World Superbikes. We are not as big as the Japanese. We don’t sell as many bikes as the Japanese to be able to fund programs on national championships. We are very lucky to have a partner like Paul Bird in the UK because between him and Ducati UK we were able to make something very successful. But we would need a similar situation in the States to be able to go ahead.”