Ducati Curse?



Ducati Curse? What Gobert's Ducati Austin team has to say

Chatting with tuner Vic Vasola before the storm.

March 11, 2003

via Ducati Austin release

Ducati's Daytona history is infamous. Monday's DNF unfortunately adds to the mystique. Here's Ducati Austin's take on the situation.

Ducati Austin’s Anthony Gobert leads Daytona 200 before retiring
Pre-race mishap forces Ducati Austin to field its ‘back up’ bike, which an undeterred Anthony “Go Show” Gobert promptly put into the lead

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (March 10, 2003) – Though Ducati Austin’s initial race of the 2003 AMA/Chevy Trucks Superbike season at Daytona International Speedway didn’t end up as planned, the team comes away from the Daytona 200 knowing full and well the Ducati 998RS03 and pilot Anthony Gobert will be highly competitive on the American superbike circuit this year.

“Despite the final results, it was a very positive outing for the Ducati Austin team,” said Ducati Austin Crew Chief Vic Fasola of the team's DNF at the rain-delayed superbike season opener. “Any time you can take your ‘B’ bike at a race of this caliber -- at the start of a season with a new team -- and put it up front in the lead, you know you’re going to be a threat to win all year long.”

Just moments prior to the race, somebody had bumped into Gobert’s front brake lever and more or less broke it. Said Fasola: “We couldn’t change it in time.” So Gobert was forced to go with Ducati Austin’s back up bike.

“Anthony got out of the gate a bit slow, but adjusted quite rapidly to the back up bike,” added Fasola. “In theory, it should have been exactly the same as the primary bike. But ask any rider and they’ll tell you it’s not at all the same.”

After starting in ninth position, Gobert put on a masterful ride, working the Ducati 998RS03 through the pack and into the lead by lap nine – pulling away on the Daytona high banks from the eventual podium finishers and leading through lap 14 of the 57-lap race.

Gobert would settle into second place for the next several laps, then came in for a scheduled pit stop on Lap 19. Upon re-entering the track the bike suffered a "yet-to-be-determined" mechanical failure.

Said Fasola: “We’ll look into what happened this week, make any necessary corrections and come back to Fontana (Calif., April 4-6) stronger than ever. Anthony and the 998RS03 proved today they can run with the leaders and be a constant force to win races in this series. And we’re going to work very hard as a team to see that he does just that.”

Noteworthy: Gobert’s best lap time of 1:50.098 was the seventh fastest of the day, less than a second off the fastest lap time.


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