Ducati team boss Filippo Preziosi has denied that the cost of recruiting Valentino Rossi is the reason behind the closure of its works World Superbike team.
The Italian firm announced yesterday that it would no longer run a factory squad in the Superbike series next year, and would instead just supply bikes for customers.
With Rossi understood to be on a substantial wage when he moves from Yamaha to Ducati in MotoGP next year, it has been suggested that the Superbike team axe is a cost-saving exercise designed to divert money towards Rossi's costs, but Preziosi insisted this was not the case.
"It may seem logical, but I can assure you there is no relationship between the two facts," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "Let's start from the financial aspect: Ducati's venture in MotoGP has always been an operation set up in such a way as to be a sustainable effort. To face consistent expenses, our system balances itself with the revenues from leasing customer bikes, and with sponsors and promoter incomes under various forms.
"Never mind the fact that the MotoGP project has allowed us to experiment technologies for road production like traction control, which Ducati would not have been able to face without racing. Obviously Valentino means a higher financial effort, but on the other hand there are higher revenues. The balance in the end is the same."
He also ruled out Ducati transferring staff and resources from Superbikes to MotoGP to coincide with Rossi's arrival.
"The men working in Superbikes now will carry on in that sector," said Preziosi. "The effort next year will double: we'll need to develop the 2011 bikes for the customers, and work on the 2012 one. No technician will move to MotoGP. In fact, the ones working at the track now will return to the racing department to increase testing hours on the bench and on the track."