It looks like some radical Ducati fans have really had it, and entered an online petition on Change.org, asking Ducati to either do something about their MotoGP program or leave the competition.
Ducati had a lousy start in 2013, despite all the fans' hopes: the tests at Sepang in Malaysia saw Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were 2 seconds slower than the bikes in the lead, and for MotoGP performance, 2 seconds is half an eternity if you get the point. The disappointment is even bigger as the last two seasons were also fruitless, despite Ducati Corse having Valentino Rossi aboard one of the bikes. Here's the text of the petition, as Alex Garcia, the author posted it:
Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A, Ducati Corse & VAG group
Race real Ducatis or leave the Moto GP Championship.
The route Ducati has chosen 3 years ago to go into the mainstream and abandon its differentiation, has not only resulted dramatic for the sportive results and the brands image, but it has also brought great embarrassment and sorrow to its loyal customers and fans. We beg Ducati to either make a 360 degree turn going back to the carbon or tubular frame, or to quit competing Moto GP and concentrating in the WSBK championship.”
Now, as funny as it may seem, the problem in the background is as real as it gets: Ducati must do something, as the present racing bikes are way far from competitive. Even Ducati News Today is brooding: “Ducati to either return to a trellis or carbon fibre frame and the race winning form of 2007-10 or quit MotoGP like Kawasaki and Suzuki did when they were serially uncompetitive."
We can only hope Borgo Panigale finds a magic trick to at least avoid falling even lower a far as MotoGP performance is concerned... because they can't possibly think of winning anything this year. Not in MotoGP, not with these bikes, and definitely not a match to the Repsol Honda fast bikes and focused riders, or Yamaha's great machines and determined pilots.