Actually we have a lot of leverage on fellow NATO member Turkey. Also a semi independent Kurdistan with a U.S. Air Base would be a powerful deterrent to our enemies. The Kurds were the few that welcomed liberation from Sadam. Turkey depends on the U.S. for arms and mini AWACS (Peace Eagle) etc.
Yes, agreed. I fell in love with the original 916 way back in '94. But there is sort of an unattainable catch-22 standard set in the minds of a lot of people. If a new Ducati design resembles the 916, people will call it a lesser copy. If it doesn't look enough like the 916, then people say they should have made it look more like one. It's really a no-win situation for the designer.
My point is that maybe we should try to take the new bike on its own merits while we continue to appreciate the original. It's not a mutually exclusive perspective.
Re BTW. That would be me. Just thinking about "factory" MV Augusta's racing revs me up. Hope they can get them up to speed. Still a few Good Racers out there without contracts last I heard... AMA Superbike 07 is looking better all the time. Hope Ducati at least does Daytona, they're always fast there (Come on! Troy!).