I think that last statement would cut Ducati sales by 90%. How many Ferarri owners actually RACE their cars? The majority of Ferrari owners buy them for the poseur value.
I think it's the same with most Duc owners. That's just the way it is. There's nothing wrong with that--in fact, if you can get someone to give you twice the amount of money for your product simply because it has a better reputation and looks better, then I'd say you're doing pretty well.
That's the great thing about these bikes. They win on Sunday, and get sold on Monday. If you ask me why I would buy a 999, it wouldn't be because it is the best bike out there (which is a relative thing). I'd buy an R1 or a GSXR-1000, personally. I'd buy the 999 because it was the bike that so-and-so won the so-and-so championship on--because I'm a racing fan.
I want to feel like I'm Troy Bayliss rounding those curves, even though I'm not even close. I want to have the same bike that my racing hero does. I want to put on all the sponsor stickers and say to myself "I've got last year's Superbike championship bike in my garage". I want to sit in the garage and stare at it. I want to make my other motorcycle buddies jealous and hear them bash on the bike while I smirk on the inside. I want to show everybody how hard I've worked all these years by having something that is financially out of their reach.
Just because I don't actually race and ride around just for fun and not in an agressive manner, does that mean Ducati shouldn't take my money? no. I'm sorry if you feel like you've been branded because of the type of people that ride the same bike as you--that would be your problem, not anybody else's.
Make no mistake, these bikes are status symbols. That's part of Ducati's image just like its racing prowess is. It is the American way.