FORMER WSB world champion Carlos Checa, who races a Ducati for Althea Racing, believes that Ducati were victimised over the issue of the 6kg ballast the Ducati 1098 was forced to carry last season.
In an interview with Motociclismo, Checa said: 'The six kilogram issue last season was not a technical issue but a political issue for several reasons: Ducati had 'officially' retired from the championship, we were coming from a 2011 in which we had won the title in dominant style, there was pressure from other brands, etc.
'They were clearly against us - they decided that Ducati will not win the title in 2012'
No similar penalty will be enacted next season. Checa and Ducati are currently testing the new Panigale in preparation for the 2013 season, beginning on Feburary 24th.
Continuing, Checa said: 'I think now we are paying for the history of Ducati in this championship'
'Before, when a change was made, everybody always said it favored Ducati and everyone complained, now it is just the opposite, and nobody says anything. For example, the new tires clearly favor the tetracilíndricas (four cylinders)'.
Ducati's record of 17 WSB title wins is unrivaled. Their nearest competitors are Honda with just four.
In response to Checa's comments, some might argue that Ducati themselves have taken advantage of the rules to their own benefit in the past...