Macau Race To Mark The End of MonsterMob'S Successful Partnership With Ducati Corse
MonsterMob Ducati team owner Paul Bird wishes to announce that his highly successful four-year partnership with Ducati Corse will come to an end with the Cumbrian-based team's participation in the 38th running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix race on November 20th.
MonsterMob will enter two Ducati 999 superbikes in the classic Far East race for riders John McGuinness and Stuart Easton, after which the team will take another direction for the 2005 season.
Paul Bird Motorsport has had a truly successful relationship with the Italian manufacturer over the last four years, during which time it consolidated its position as Ducati's satellite team in the competitive British Superbike championship, which it won twice in successive years. It also won a total of 34 BSB races, in addition to two World Superbike races at Brands Hatch in 2003.
After the late Steve Hislop's title success (together with Stuart Easton taking the British Supersport crown) in 2002, followed by Shane 'Shakey' Byrne lifting the crown again in 2003 before moving onto MotoGP, the MonsterMob Ducati squad finished fifth overall in this year's British Superbike championship with the experienced Sean Emmett aboard the factory-supported Ducati 999RS04, winning two races and finishing on the podium a further six times.
"It was an extremely difficult decision to take to leave Ducati" declared Paul Bird, "and it really left a lump in my throat when I thought of what we have accomplished over the last four years. However we realised that the time had come to do something different. Quite simply we needed a new challenge for 2005, when we aim to extend our team to run three Superbikes in BSB and that is going to be one really big task".
He continued "I would like to thank Ducati Corse, and in particular Paolo Ciabatti, for everything they have done for us since the start of our relationship, because without their contribution none of this success would have been possible and a big thanks also to Ducati UK, who have given us their help and support over the past four years."
Paolo Ciabatti, Ducati Corse Superbike Program Director, added: "We are really sorry that our collaboration with Paul Bird Motorsport has come to an end. In winning two BSB titles with Steve Hislop and Shane Byrne, they have given us a lot of success in the UK and proved to be a very capable and professional team. But above all we would like to thank them for bringing honour and credit to Ducati in BSB over the past four years. We wish Paul, Phil, Stuart and everybody in the team all the best for the future."
Plans are at an advanced stage for Bird to run the three riders in the 2005 British Superbike Championship using Honda machinery. Already signed is Gary Mason who will be joining the team's junior rider Michael Laverty on the Fireblades with the third rider still to be announced.
"We are speaking with a number of riders about the vacant position and we have had lots of interest. Hopefully, we can conclude this deal in the next few weeks and we can look forward to getting back to our winning ways next season. I'm really looking forward to working with Honda again with whom we've enjoyed a very successful relationship in the past" concluded Bird.