Thursday, December 28, 2006
What an odd, odd off-season it has been in some respects.
Still-going-fast Neil Hodgson’s out of a ride and the ever mecurical Max Biaggi is going fast on a Suzuki Superbike.
Who would have predicted either of these developments?
It’s no secret Neil Hodgson spent the latter part of 2006 pining for a ride on the factory Ducati WSBK team for 2007. At times and from different perspectives this looked like a logical and feasible development. Right up until Ducati re-hired Lorenzo Lanzi to another year in the number two spot on the factory Ducati WSBK team.
Hodgson lashed out at Troy Bayliss in a recent posting on his web site, saying it was Bayliss who didn’t want him on the team, thus thwarting his chances of returning to WSBK on a factory Ducati.
Hodgson wrote on his site:
“I’m currently in a position that I feel very uncomfortable with. I haven’t experienced it for over ten years. I am unemployed.
“My career plans took an unsuspected turn when I was told by Ducati Corse that they would not be requiring my services for the 2007 World Superbike campaign.
“It appears that Troy Bayliss didn’t want to be put under pressure by having a competitive team-mate and Ducati have bowed to his demands. This has left me as the longest-serving Ducati rider facing the prospect of changing brands for the first time in eight years.
“I’ve got a few options that we are currently working on. I suppose that in itself is a motivational prospect.
“I honestly believe that I’ve got another World Superbike Championship title in me. While the offer for the Rizla Suzuki ride in the British Superbike Championship was difficult to turn down, I honestly believe (and hope) that it was the right decision. …
Hodgson is still linked to a possible ride on a Fogarty Ducati squad, sponsor and money willing.