Tuesday, November 16, 2010

AMA Road Racing: Larry Pegram & Ducati Part Ways for 2011 AMA Superbike Championship

Larry Pegram on the #72 Competition Accessories Ducati 998 leads 3-Time AMA Superbike Champion Doug Chandler on the #10 Team Kawasaki ZX-750 at Mid Ohio during race two action in the AMA Superbike Series round in July 2001. Pegram first hooked up with Ducati riding for Eraldo Ferracci's Fast by Ferracci Ducati team in '99, where he won his first premier class race at Willow Springs. Even during the '00s, Pegram's only year he wasn't associated with Ducati was in the 2005 season, during which time he campaigned Honda's CBR1000RR on his Pegram Racing team in the top level series.
During the '09 and '10 seasons, Pegram campaigned Ducati 1098s and 1198s with Foremost Insurance as his title-sponsor, winning his first race in over ten years in the AMA Superbike Series at Road America in June of '09, and then winning both rounds at Topeka later in the year. Larry started off the 2010 season strongly while winning the first of two races at Auto Club Speedway in late March and adding five more 3rd place finishes to his year, including the season opening first race at Daytona. He finished fourth in the season-ending standings for both seasons, his personal best in the premier class since the end of the '90s.
In what has been deemed 'not totally unexpected' news, it was announced today by Larry Pegram and his Pegram Racing team that he will be splitting from Ducati for the upcoming 2011 AMA Superbike Championship Series. Having ridden in the premier class on the Italian marques' 1098/1198 platform for the last couple of seasons (and winning three races in both seasons along the way), the rumblings about the split has been stirring since almost the end of the 2010 season at Barber Motorsports Park back in September. Pegram's Foremost Insurance Group Ducati 1198 F08's have been for sale on his website since about a week after the season wrapped (for a cool $100K each.)

Pegram didn't make mention of what he may be riding for the 2011 season, only that within a week or so he would be making an announcement as to what his plans are. With just shy of four months before the lights go green in Daytona, that should be plenty of time to get something serious together for the upcoming season. And with many riders/teams still unsigned for next year, whether it be talent or machinery changes, there is still a long way to go until racing resumes in Florida. And a lot of dominoes to fall into place.
Here's the official press release courtesy of Dean Adams and his great group of folks at SuperBikePlanet.com:


Pegram's 2010 Ducatis have been listed for sale on his website since just after the end of the season at Barber. For $100,000, you too can own yourself a full-blown 2010 edition Ducati 1198 F08 AMA Superbike and be ready to put it on the grid at Daytona in March:


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