6. Is Ducati Doomed?
After two years, not even Valentino Rossi could right the Ducati ship, leaving the fabled Italian marque scratching heads and making sweeping changes. Gone is Filippo Preziosi, Rossi and AMG/Mercedes, in is Bernhard Gobmeier, Andrea Dovizioso and Audi. The Pramac satellite team is now factory supported, with Andrea Iannone and Ben Spies its riders.
Along with stalwart Nicky Hayden, Bologna is hoping its four riders, the man who turned around BMW’s World Superbike program, and the financial backing of Audi, can get the bike back in the winner’s circle without Casey Stoner. Early signs aren’t positive, as the team has admitted it hasn’t made any major changes in the offseason.