Big Twins in WSB and BSB for 2007

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Troy Bayliss ended months of speculation today by signing for Ducati Corse for another two-year term. The new contract will see the Monaco based Australian defend his presumably imminent 2006 WSB title over the 2007 and 2008 seasons with the Bologna based company.

Clearly Troy's job was beginning to get harder with the highly stressed 999 which may have led to the rumblings of rumoured retirement and his uncharacteristic snappiness and irritability with press at the Brands Hatch round. Troy has previously been famed for his laid-back and easy-going persona and his treatment of supposed close colleagues at recent rounds of the series led the deeply suspicious to speculate just what might be wrong. There is certainly no doubting that the big-bore v-twin is highly stressed in its present state of tune - perhaps this effect was rubbing off on Troy?

Bayliss ... 1200cc next year?

So it comes as no surprise that Troy's re-signing neatly dovetails with leaked (but reliable) reports that Ducati have been successful in their political and strategic 1200cc ambitions. Apparently, according to Visordown sources, their wish to run the new 1200cc V-twin against the 1000-fours has been rubber stamped by not only the WSB fraternity but also by the AMA in the States and BSB in the UK. Might this have swayed Troy's decision to scribble his name at the bottom of the contract? The answer to that question is 'yes'??.

Even more amazingly, Ducati's wishes have allegedly met no opposition from rival manufacturers.

But, in the cold light of day it does make sense. To keep a 999cc V-twin competitive against the mighty 1000cc fours takes an incredible amount of technical know-how, a very short life for most (expensive) engine components and a ridiculous amount of investment in catch-up aids like sophisticated traction control. Build a bigger cc twin and halve your budget. Not rocket science.

The net benefit of this rule relaxing is that, all of a sudden, the customer products of Ducati Corse, are going to be competitive again - even without 100% factory assistance. But more than that, their pure-race machinery is about to make commercial sense once again and what business survives without a competitive, reliable and affordable product?


Do not be surprised to see Paul Bird Motorsport and co return next season with 1200cc v-twin race bikes. And don't be surprised to see other manufacturers take advantage of the same advantage by producing their own 1200 twins in retaliation.

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