Dario Marchetti and Ducati won a spectacular victory at Daytona in the first of the Motorcycle Races of Champions, the series of races by invitation only, reserved for those who have ranked in the top three places in an American championship race in the past two years.
Due to an organizational error, the rider from Castel San Pietro (BO) went to bed thinking that he came in third and woke up as the winner of the couple endurance 200 Miles which he participated in with Barrett Long in the seat of a Ducati 1098 S lined up from Ducati Miami. At night, the timers discovered that one lap was missing while counting for the Italian-American team, and they actually crossed the finish line in first place. The next morning, they were awarded their victory.
The two remained at the head of the race for a long time, called GTO Team Challenge, but when they went back to the pit lane for refuelling and a tyre change, they lost a lot of time because of problems while remounting the wheel. According to the timers, they lost an entire lap in the confusion caused by the fire from Chris Carey’s bike.
At that point, the two from Ducati Miami began an incredible recovery that allowed them to gain a lot of positions. At the last lap, Marchetti, the only Italian in the race, directly passed Marco Martinez at the head of the race with his Suzuki from the Moon Supercycle team, but it seemed that to the Ducati Miami team, the overtaking only served to avoid being lapped. This is how Marchetti and Long found themselves on their third step of the podium, while Marco Martinez and Calvin Klinger took the trophy for the victory and Mike Hammosback and Mat McBrade took second place.
It seemed that everything was finished, with anger for the result that went up in smoke, but instead, during the night, the timers verifying the rides discovered that Ducati Miami lost much, much less than one lap. Therefore, the overtaking of Martinez by Marchetti allowed the team to win the victory.
Ducati 1098 S
“To me, it seemed like we were in the lead, and in fact, the match with Martinez was hard,” said Marchetti. “He resisted and we touched a few times, but then they told us that we were behind one lap…I protested at first, but then I had to accept the result. Instead, I was right – it’s fantastic. I am so happy with how the Races of Champions have started and I hope that I don’t stop here because I am scheduled for a few other races this weekend.”
In these, Marchetti will race alone. Two Superstock and Superbike races are scheduled for Sunday when the Bolognese rider with participate with the Ducati 1098 S from the Ducati Miami team.
GTO Team Challenge Classifications
1. Ducati Miami Team (Ducati 1098 S – Marchetti/Long)
2. Moon Supercycle Team (Suzuki Yoshimura – Martinez/Klinger)
3. Valley Racing Team (Suzuki GSX-R – Homme/Hammosback)