Our good colleagues over at MotoBlog.it delved into this idea today, and it brings up an interesting issue. At what point does Ducati begin supporting the privateer efforts of Althea Ducati and its rider Carlos Checa?

Checa is of course already has a win under his belt this season, not to mention that he has had very strong and consistent finishes. Checa also leads the factory Ducati riders by 18 (Haga) & 50 (Fabrizio) points…all of which was accomplished on a machine that should be inferior to what Xerox Ducati has been racing, and achieving lesser results with to this point in the season.

The idea of Ducati jumping ship right this instant is a bit premature of course, but there is an interesting problem of how long the factory will lend its support to Xerox Ducati if the team continue to return dismal finishes. Does Bologna wait until halfway into the season? A few more races? Or do they stay the course, and show their support to their “factory riders” Haga and Fabrizio. Discuss.