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Ducati currently has three full factory rides: Bayliss, Xaus, and Bostrom. Hodgson moves to the factory team, meaning only one slot for those three riders. Bayliss would be a no-brainer, but what of Xaus and Bostrom?



Bayliss may go and ride the GP bike, but there are reasons why he may wish to stay where he is: he is on a proven bike, he knows that the bike agrees with him, he would have to be favoured for the WSB championship next year, and I think Ducati's GP bike will likely need a good year of racing development before being a contender for the championship. Bayliss is 33; he would be 35 before he would have a shot at a GP title. Despite Ducati's ability to engineer a sweet racebike, one has to wonder if they (or anyone else) will be able to keep up with Honda's nearly limitless resources in a prototype racing class.



What would you do if you were Bayliss? Do you accept that you have proven yourself in WSB and move on for a very slim chance at a different title? Do you stay where you are comfortable?



If it came down to Xaus and Bostrom, which rider would you choose? Should be an interesting few months. Ben, the time is now to turn it on!
 

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"Ben, the time is now to turn it on!"



Ben, the time is now to dump your beloved Dunlops and put some Michelins on that 998 so you can keep up with your teammate's otherwise-identical bike!



OK, I know, Dunlop is Boz's sponsor, so he can't exactly switch. And Bayliss is so incredibly fast this year I'm beginning to wonder if he's made a pact with the devil. He seems able to pass anyone, anywhere, anytime he decides to do it.
 

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Great Post:

[*]If I am Bayliss I go to MotoGP for the challenge. He is obviously competitive and I am sure Ducati will want him to show of their new bike. Yes it will take a awhile but what better way to go out than to bring a MotoGP (the pinnacle of cycle racing) championshil to Ducati.

[*]As for Bostrom I think teaming him up in superbike makes the most since. WSB races in Laguna Seca ever year and Bostrom has US marketing appeal This also gives him time to polish his skills

[*]Xaus goes to motoGP. Fogerty says Xaus has the most natural talent, the heir apparent to Baylsi. Because motoGP has some many races in Europe it makes sense from a marketing stand point

Wild card prediction

[*] Bostrom gets dumped. Honda picks him up to race with Edwards.in WSB
 

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Does anyone know who between Bayliss, Bostrom, and Xaus is the best development rider? Pure talent alone is not what Ducati needs in their first year of MotoGP - they need someone who can develop a motorcycle and communicate to engineers what changes are working and what changes aren't.
 

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That sounds about right. But I think they want someone already established on the tracks, like Biaggi or Capirossi as the number 1 rider, unless Bayliss goes... Johnnie Hopkins isnt doing bad. But if they can't get the Italians, you might be right.
 

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Biaggi is all hype, no go. From what I've heard Ducati want an Italian and Capirossi is the ideal choice from their standpoint, but West Honda Pons is supposed to get the 2002 spec RC211V next year which will probably be quicker than the Duc in it's first year. Tough choice for Capirossi.
 

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"Fogerty says Xaus has the most natural talent, the heir apparent to Baylsi."



Yeah, well Fogarty had lots of good things to say about Chris Walker and James Toseland, neither of whom has done much of anything since. Xaus, like Bostrom, showed glimpses of brilliance last season, but has mostly been off the radar this year despite being on a clearly superior machine (see also: Troy Bayliss).



If I were Ducati, I'd bring Troy Bayliss to GP next year, so that (1) he can learn the tracks, (2) he can learn the bike, (3) as the bike develops, it can be tailored to him. But, I wouldn't bring over Bostrom or Xaus as the second rider, I'd go get a rider with GP experience and a strong development history. You need someone who can really help Bayliss and the team and the bike. (Now, if you're fielding a third bike, then you go with someone young and promising, like Bostrom, Xaus, or Hopkins.)
 
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