It was a big day for the Rahal family on Tuesday as Graham Rahal and his dad Bobby announced the formation of the Rahal Ducati Moto team as they two wheels to their ever-expanding racing portfolio.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver Graham Rahal, an avid motorcycle enthusiast with a Ducati dealership in Indianapolis is excited about the new team.
“This has been a long time coming and something I have wanted to do since we got the Ducati brands. Having a couple of those stores now has been great and we want to continue to build our relationship. There is no better way to do that than through the racing program and I am excited to get going. None of this would be possible without XPEL, a brand that I have a long-term relationship with through Rahal Paint Protection and I’m eager to see what we can do as a group in the MotoAmerica series. The series has been experiencing impressive growth in recent years and I’m excited to be part of it.
“Having Ben Spies as general manager is a real asset to our program. He gives us a lot of legitimacy but also brings a lot of success and is someone we can lean on to set our riders and team in the best place for success. This is going to be a great adventure for our organization and Ducati and something we can grow into the future and hopefully have some success on the Ducati Panigale V2.”
Bobby Rahal, the 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner and co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with David Letterman and Mike Lanigan Racing commented on today’s announcement saying:
I’m really pleased that Graham has been able to put this program together with XPEL in the MotoAmerica series. I have enjoyed working with (MotoAmerica founders) Richard Varner and Terry Karges through the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles and met Wayne Rainey a few years ago as well. I have always been a huge fan of motorcycle racing, particularly Grand Prix road racing, and have had the privilege to get to know Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey and others over the years and have the greatest respect and admiration for what they were able to achieve all over the world. With Graham’s Ducati dealerships, it certainly seems to make sense for us to be involved. He has a tremendous amount of experience with XPEL through his businesses and we have a growing relationship through our automobile dealerships in Pennsylvania and know them to be a leader in the industry so to join with them for Rahal Ducati Moto is something we are very proud of and looking forward to expanding the relationship with them for years to come.”
The newly formed team will run two bikes full-time in MotoAmerica and speaking about the news, WAYNE RAINEY, MotoAmerica President said:
“The Rahals are legends in motorsports. We’ve been in discussion with them for a while to get their group involved in motorcycle racing with MotoAmerica. I’m really excited because we know they are going to be a wonderful addition to our paddock and the series. Bobby and Graham Rahal have been involved in auto racing for a long time and have been successful in many different series, and they’ve earned a lot of championships. All of us are super excited to have a team with the Rahal’s prestige in our motorcycle road racing championship. To me, it really shows how far MotoAmerica has come these last nine years.”
Ben Spies, Team Principal of Rahal Ducati Moto said:
“I’m super excited about the project. I was approached a couple of months ago and asked if I wanted to be part of it to put my knowledge to use to help with the team and the riders and it was a no-brainer for me. Between bringing the Rahal name into the sport and partnering with Ducati, who is doing a great job globally, I think this is the perfect time for them to join forces and come into the series. The last two-to-three years have seen a pretty big uptick for MotoAmerica with the fans so there is a bit of a resurgence going on. The Rahals are coming in right now and will probably pull one or two other companies in to start a team and I look at that as a really good thing. I’m just excited to be back in the paddock and use some of my knowledge to help the team and definitely help the riders on the weekends with strategy and all of that. I’m looking forward to it.
The team will be sponsored by XPEL who have a storied history in motorsport through their sponsorship of Team Penske in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and speaking about the news, MICHAEL MAYALL, XPEL Vice President of Corporate Development:
We are extremely excited to expand our partnerships in motorsports from four wheels to two with the Rahal Ducati Moto team and the MotoAmerica series. Joining forces with Rahal Ducati Moto and Ducati is a thrill for us. At XPEL, our motto is ‘Protect everything,’ and we’re ready to bring our world-class protection to the premier motorcycle racing series.”