Most racing fans rightfully most closely connect Dale Quarterley to his years of racing Kawasaki Superbike from the days of the KZ1000 to the ZX-7. Lesser known is Quarterley’s majorly important involvement in Ducati’s rise in AMA Superbike in the early 1990s.
In 1988 Quarterley won the Pro Twins (aka Battle of the Twins) Championship on a Fast by Ferracci (FBF) Ducati 851. Ducati was happy with that title, but they wanted more. They wanted the 851 to race in the premier AMA Superbike class.
“We got the motorcycle at my shop and it was stock,” Eraldo Ferracci recalled. “We found it only had 90 horsepower. I thought, ‘Holy sh*t, we’ve got a lot of work to do.’ The deal was I could not screw with the fuel injection. The factory wanted to make sure we used it. I think we got the horsepower up to 105-106, but I told the factory to win I needed to be able to get all the parts and electronics or forget about it. It was a little bit of a struggle, but finally they agreed and told me just to keep them up to date with what I was doing.”
Ferracci upped the ante in ‘89 when Quarterley began racing the FBF Ducati in the AMA Superbike class. The Ducati was still considered an underdog against the Japanese-built Superbikes, but Quarterley scored a pair of podium finish on the bike that season, including a solid runner-up finish to Yoshimura Suzuki’s Jamie James at Loudon.
Bolstered by the podium results by Quarterley, Ducati continued the development of its machine and by 1991 the result was the Ducati 888 and that machine with Doug Polen at the controls began Ducati’s dominance in both AMA and World Superbike. But that ascendency would not have been possible without the groundwork laid by Quarterley’s stint with Ferracci Ducati in the late 1980s.