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Racing with the Mono

  Racer Road Part Eight

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The single that thinks it's a twin - the final press release

The SIGMA Ducati (#95/7;ZDM570R*000048) is one of the 67 Supermono racers built by Ducati in two batches 1993(41) and 1995(26), making this possibly the rarest Ducati model ever. The styling is by Pierre Terblanche, responsible also for the new 900ss.

'I have been involved with Single Cylinder racing for seven years' said SIGMA's Neil Spalding, 'and I could never understand why the Ducati Supermono never seemed to make as much power as I thought it should. People even started to say it was too slow so I decided to do something about it; we raised the power from 65bhp to 76bhp. That makes quite a difference, we now expect to be the quickest!'

The engine is one cylinder off an 888 V-Twin bored and stroked to 572cc. Both con-rods are still present; the 'vertical' cylinder and head have been removed and replaced by a pivoted balance weight. The engine uses standard 916/996 Corsa components. This engine has been modified and now produces 76 SAE Dynojet HP at 10000 rpm.

The bike won first time out at Daytona in the hands of Johnathan Cornwell, the Canadian Ohlins suspension technician assigned to the works Ducati teams of Fogarty, Chili and Corser, in the process beating Cal Rayborn III on the 1997 winning bike.

Callum Ramsay used the same bike five weeks later to take his, and Ducati's, first and only European SuperMono Cup win at Donington, getting both pole position and highest top speed, winning the race by 23 seconds.

For the Brands Hatch SuperMono race, Rodney O'Connor, racer son of New Zealand Ducati Importer Don O'Connor flew from New Plymouth specially to ride the bike. Rodney had never been to Europe before but he mastered the technical circuit and qualified in seventh place, setting the highest top speed. Rodney was circulating easily within Mike Edwards Lap record and got up to 4th place in the race before crashing out two corners from the end.

For the Final SuperMono Cup race at Assen in early September Dutch rider Cees Doorakkers agreed to ride the bike, in practice setting pole time and getting highest top speed.  In the race Cees was leading the field by 2 seconds at the end of the first lap when a small preparation error caused a misfire leading to a premature retirement.

The main question now the bike has been proven to be still very competitive is will the factory put the Supermono concept into production. 'We just wanted to prove a point, and I think we did; the Supermono is still competitive, I just hope someone at the factory was listening.

Specification;

Engine.

Single cylinder, horizontal 572cc,

Bore and stroke 102 x 70.

Compression Ratio 11: 1

Fuel Injection Weber; F.I.M Ultimap programmable EPROM

Valves 37mm Inlet, 31mm Exhaust.

Plain main and big end bearings.

Close Ratio Gear Box (Supertech treated)

Anti-hop 9 plate Corsa clutch

CTS Quickshifter

Power 76bhp SAE at 10000rpm.

Peak torque 45 ft lb. at 8250rpm

Chassis and Rolling Gear.

Tubular Steel space frame in ALS500

Aluminium swingarm.

23 degree head angle, 92mm trail.

Wheelbase 1360mm (53.5inch).

Seat height (std) 760 mm (29.9inch).

Front fork 42 mm Ohlins OUT fork,

Front wheel 3.5inch and 3.75 inch x 17 Marchesini / Marvic

Front tyre 120/60 x 17 Dunlop KR106 Slick

Front brake 2x 280 mm Brembo Discs

Rear suspension Ohlins reservoir shock.

Rear wheel 5.0 inch and 5.5 inch x 17 Marchesini / Marvic

Rear tyre 160/55 x 17 Dunlop KR108 Slick

Rear brake 1x 190 mm Disc

Weight 122 kg wet.

Weight distribution 54.5% front; 45.5% rear,

                                                                                       Neil Spalding

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