Why the British love Ducatis
I’m now on the Isle of Man after a slightly hectic two days. Yesterday I was at Silverstone, this morning I stopped at Donington Park on my way to catch the ferry to The Island.
All three locations are significant for Ducati. The connection with Silverstone goes back to the fifties, to the little 125cc racers and to Hailwood, and of course it stretches all the way to the current MotoGP era.
Donington mattered too. The first ever World Superbike race meeting took place there in April 1988. It was won by Marco Lucchinelli on the Ducati 851. Of course this set in motion the Ducati domination of World Superbikes in the 1990s and 2000s with Carl Fogarty, Neil Hodgson and James Toseland. Chaz Davies is doing a pretty decent job in 2017 too. So Brits, and Ducatis and WSB have always worked well together. It felt pretty special to be allowed onto Donington’s Melbourne Loop to take some pictures this afternoon.
There’s more to the Ducati relationship with the Isle of Man than Hailwood’s 78 win too, most significantly Tony Rutter’s success in the Formula Two races in the 1980s. Riding a Pantah based, 600cc TT2, which for me one of the best looking motorcycles ever, the West Midlands rider won the F2 race in 1981, ’82, ’83 and ’85. He finished second on 1984. He also won the F2 World Championship in 1981-84.
It feels good to be here.