Ducati Press Release: Ignite Pramac Racing Team And Ben Spies Unveil New Livery

In a sign of the new closeness between the Pramac team and Ducati, the Ducati press office issued the following press release, unveiling Ben Spies' new Desmosedici livery, and the new title sponsor Ignite Asset Management, a US-based financial asset management firm. The sponsorship is said to be worth 1 million euros a season, according to Speedweek.de:

Ben Spies’ Ignite Pramac Racing Team Ducati Desmosedici GP13 unveiled at Wrooom

Bologna (Italy), 16 January 2013 – Last September Ducati Corse announced that Ben Spies had been signed to race for the Pramac Racing Team in the 2013 MotoGP World Championship. Last night, the American’s Ducati Desmosedici GP13 was officially unveiled at Wrooom 2013, the traditional Press Ski Meeting in Madonna di Campiglio that symbolically launches the forthcoming MotoGP season.

Ducati has a long relationship with Pramac Team Principal Paolo Campinoti, whose squad is now factory-supported. Under the guidance of Team Manager Francesco Guidotti, Pramac Racing will play a key role in the development of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13, and Ben Spies’ experience and talent will be essential to the project. In addition to being a winner and six-time podium finisher in MotoGP, the Texan won the 2009 Superbike World Championship and is a three-time AMA Superbike Champion.

Spies’ Ignite Pramac Racing Team Ducati Desmosedici GP13 prominently features the logo of new sponsor Ignite Asset Management, a New York-based, alternative-asset-management firm led by a group of hedge-fund industry veterans and supported by private investors with a passion for motorsports.

Paolo Ciabatti (Ducati Corse MotoGP Project Director)

“We’re very pleased with the agreement we’ve reached with Ignite Pramac Racing Team for 2013, which has the Francesco Guidotti-run team taking on factory-supported status, with an even closer link to Ducati’s racing department. This is also demonstrated with the presence for the first time of Pramac Racing Team at Wrooom, the fantastic event taking place in Madonna di Campiglio. We’re very confident that Ben Spies will be able to use his talents to help us with the development of the bike and to achieve the results we’re after more quickly, and we thank the sponsor Ignite Asset Management for its support on this project.”

Francesco Guidotti (Ignite Pramac Racing Team Manager)

“Pramac Racing Team is honoured to welcome Ben Spies, who has enormous talent and a spectacular riding style. We’re expecting a big challenge, but thanks to the important support of sponsor Ignite Asset Management and our new status as a Ducati factory-supported team, we are sure we will live up to expectations. With Ben, we’ll endeavour to speed up the development process on the bike to achieve our objectives as soon as possible. We’re enthusiastically looking forward to the 2013 season.”

Ben Spies (Ignite Pramac Racing Team Rider)

“I am excited to be a part of the Ducati family. This is something I've wanted from the beginning of my racing career. My team and I have our work cut out for us and new goals to meet, but we'll benefit from factory support and Audi coming on board. Ducati has four strong riders with different styles, which should improve the Desmosedici and bring it back up to the top where it belongs.”

Ben Spies' Ignite Pramac Racing Team Ducati

Ben Spies in 2013 team gear


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A casual Googling of Ignite Asset Management reveals something close to nothing. Who are these people and why are they ponying up a (rumored) cool million to support a MotoGP team? BTW, what the heck is an "alternative asset"?

Being born and raised in NYC, I've come to learn that "alternative-asset-management" is just a newfangled version of an old Wall Street adage... We make money the old fashioned way, we steal it.

“I am excited to be a part of the Ducati family. This is something I've wanted from the beginning of my racing career."

That's a pretty surprizing statement I find. The photo of Ben is somewhat comparable to the Ducati Desmosedici GP12: substantial room for improvement!

Alternative riders on M1 and D16 swapping seats again. Insider trading. Algorithims and theories. I do like the livery and # 11 emblazoned,well,correctly it seems.

“I am excited to be a part of the Ducati family. This is something I've wanted from the beginning of my racing career".

I can see that as differnent than just racing a Ducati. We all know that their race bike has issues. Possibly the best spin on it is, Ducati don't throw their riders under the bus (If only that were true. Ask Troy Corser, Marco Melandri and a few others how they feel)? Be that as it may, while Yosh Suzuki gave him an awesome start and an opportunity to become rich and Yamaha did give him a Factory GP ride, the price seemed too high for Ben.

I am a little surprised. I thought his eyes were opened in the AMA: this is a business first. Your friends are in the stands or in your trailer. I am starting to think Ben may be the type of rider that has to have a direct adversary, ala Fogerty & Rossi to be at his best.