Ducati launches Supersport team in Valencia

Ducati Breil Supersport Team Launched in Valencia Valencia (Spain), 23 February 2004: The Ducati Breil team that will take part in the 2004 World Supersport Championship has been presented in Valencia, Spain as part of a two-day full-scale...

Ducati Breil Supersport Team Launched in Valencia

Valencia (Spain), 23 February 2004: The Ducati Breil team that will take part in the 2004 World Supersport Championship has been presented in Valencia, Spain as part of a two-day full-scale circuit test organised for the 749R streetbike, the most advanced twin-cylinder machine ever produced by the Bologna company.

The racing version of the 749R, which was unveiled in its head-turning black livery, sports the logo of new title sponsor, Italian watch manufacturer Breil, who will accompany the team throughout the season.

The last time Ducati Corse officially took part in World Supersport was in 2000, when Paolo Casoli and Ruben Xaus won three races with the 748 and its return with the new 749R adds considerable prestige to the series. Ducati also won the Riders' and Manufacturers' titles in 1997 with Casoli and the 748, when Supersport moved to a world level for the first time.

"2004 will be a testing year for us and we chose to have just one rider for the development of the 749R" declared Ducati Corse Managing Director Claudio Domenicali. "We are entering the championship for the first time in three years, with a completely new bike and will make every effort to make the 749R competitive. We tried to include into the production bike all the features that we thought it would need directly for racing and most probably the 749R is the most advanced twin-cylinder bike ever built in the company. Development work has also been carried out with Ducati's long-standing technical partner Shell Advance, to improve the performance of the bike."

"Racing is in our DNA and the 749R is in our sportsbike product range so in a way it was a natural decision for us to go Supersport racing" added Domenicali. "Our fans were waiting for us to race the 749R, so here we are and we will try to do the best possible this year and develop the bike further with the aim of running a two-rider team in 2005."

The rider chosen to spearhead Ducati's return to the Supersport arena is the young Italian Lorenzo Lanzi. The 22-year-old from Cesena steps up from European Superstock, where he finished runner-up in 2003, to the World Supersport championship.

"In our opinion Lorenzo has great potential" adds Team Director Paolo Ciabatti. "Last year he did extremely well on the Ducati 999S Superstock, and we should consider that it was his first time on a four-stroke machine. We know that the Supersport championship has a very competitive field of riders and bikes, but we are sure that our 'package' is good and that the results will come soon. We will also enter Supersport veteran and current Ducati Desmosedici test rider Vittoriano Guareschi in selected events, at the moment Monza and Imola are confirmed."

The 11-race World Supersport Championship schedule, run on the same programme as World Superbike, kicks off with the opening round this coming weekend at Valencia, Spain.

High-resolution images of the presentation are available in the Ducati Corse website press area: www.ducaticorsepress.com

Title Sponsor: Breil
Official Sponsor: Shell Advance

Technical Sponsors: AMD - Brembo - Champion - CM Composit - Gnutti - Magneti Marelli - Regina - SKF - Termignoni - USAG - VAZ

Official Suppliers: Alfa Romeo - Allegri - Bianchi - DEA - DHL - Ditec - Fila - Gericom - Gianfranco Ferre' - Hokkaido - Malaguti - Marsh - Oakley - Orrigoni - Pattex - Powerade - Sparco - Suomy

-www.ducati.com

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