Oxford Ducati Racing boss Steve Moore yesterdsay unveiled his Bennetts British Superbike and Supersport riders for the 2023 season.
Bikesportnews sat down with the Winchester sarcasm factory a couple of weeks ago to discuss his choices:
So, Wilf, let’s start with Christian…
It was kind of an obvious choice. He has ridden Ducati before. Went very well on it. We had a chat with him. He’s a very technical rider, which will suit our team ethos, really, how we like to work. We call it clinical and technical.
Christian was obviously very keen to ride a Ducati previously. I think he has kept that enthusiasm, so it’s nice to be able to get him back in the Ducati family again. It was a move supported by Ducati. When I spoke to those guys in Italy, they said it was a good option. They seem to know what they’re doing about choosing riders.
So, we’ll get him on it and see how we go. It’s a bit hard to have any expectation, but we’ll see what we can do. If we do a good job, he will be a good measure of it.
The bike has developed substantially since he last rode it, so I can’t wait to get him on our bike and begin making it work for him with the 2023 updates.
I am sure he will thrive with the focus of being in a one-rider team. I’ve already had many technical conversations with him, and we seem to be on the same page - he’s as nerdy as me with the technical details so we do get along well and that’s key to the racing family ethic in our team. He even seems to have a sense of humour, which he’ll need…”
Moore’s Supersport rider is Ben Currie, who comes back to Britain after a difficult recovery from injury and then in a poor World Supersport outfit.
The Australia has proven he can run at the sharp-end of Supersport here, so it was a no-brainer…
We had a look at riders, and it was a bit hard to find somebody that really fitted from those already there. There’s plenty of guys that want to race Supersport who have kind of always been in it forever but are a bit older.
Ben was the runner-up in Supersport for a couple of years I think, but he’s always been there or thereabouts. We got to know him in the paddock, and he’s always been quite keen. He spoke to us in the previous season about doing something. He’s had a bit of a hard time in World Supersport and was looking to sort of reset a little bit, and it sort of fitted in with us, really. We had a couple meetings with him, and it seems like a good fit. I think he can do a really good job.
Is this an academy job? He rides Supersport this year and then up to Superbikes?
I think he, like most riders, want to get to the Superbike class. It’s where all the glory is. So, I think everyone wants to get there. We’ve not sold it as an academy ride, but obviously if you’ve got a rider in your team that’s doing rather well on a Ducati and he’s sat there and knows everyone and gets on, then it kind of makes sense.
Should we need a stand-in superbike rider at any point, then we’ll offer a spot to him. Probably for a bit of fun, we’ll test him on the Superbike just to see how he likes it.
In this season, the winter tests?
Yeah. During the season, we’ll probably have an event or two we’ll go to, and he can have a go on the Superbike, just for a bit of fun really. We’ll see how he gets on with the extra 100 horsepower…