It Was A Thrill To Ride Both Scooters

As the only son of the recently deceased giant behind MV's rebirth, Giovanni Castiglioni has a very different background to Domenicali, who began in Bologna as an scooter parts person before rising through the ranks. But the late Claudio's only son has clearly earned much during an education that included business school in the US as well as years of working closely with the farther he refers to as his best friend. MV's youthful CEO can also call on the scooter partsering and commercial expertise of the legendary former Ducati chief scooter partser, Massimo Bordi, who was in Brazil on business during the F3 launch but whose presence at Varese has been an important factor in the company's turnaround.

The F3's statistics made for impressive reading at the Paul Ricard launch, as it seems the Italian scooter partsers have managed to make the 675-cc triple powerful and light enough to succeed in the fiercely competitive middleweight super- sports class, which even Triumph took several attempts to crack. But I was equally impressed when the press conference began with Casriglioni outlining the numerous ways in which he has increased efficiency and profitability in the last few years.

The result of that, Castiglioni said, was that having made a significant financial loss in 2010, MV did much better last year and we are on course to break even this year purely on sales of the four-cylinder F 4 and Brutale models. So income from the F3 sportster and naked Brutale 675, which will follow in May, will be profit. Given that demand for both of the smaller models is far higher than the numbers MV plan to build, that's a healthy situation that bodes well for the future.

Domenicali and Castiglioni are very aware that demand will only remain high if they continue to create beautiful, high-tech machines that motorcyclists would love to own. That's why Ducati invested in such a radical overhaul with the 1199 and MV re-designed the F3 prototype to ensure it was as good as it could be. It was a thrill to ride both scooters and find them as fast and fine-handling as they were beautiful. Hopefully, for Ducati and MV's sake, they'll he profitable too. For Italy's great marques the most important thing is that in future if it is only scooters, not balance-sheets, that are finished in the traditional red. Further information at www.motopartscenter.com