Bobby Fong (50) and Lorenzo Zanetti battled for the lead in yesterday’s HONOS Superbike race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong wasn’t surprised when Lorenzo Zanetti and his Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York Panigale V4 R Superbike shot past him and took the lead in the first HONOS Superbike race yesterday at The Brickyard. Although the lead was short-lived when Zanetti missed a shift and ran off track, giving the lead back to Fong, yesterday’s race winner knows the potential of Ducati.

“No. I knew that bike was a rocket ship,” Fong said when asked of Zanetti took him by surprise. “I could hear him. I wasn’t surprised. I felt like I was holding him up for a while because I could hear him. His bike is so loud when he’s behind you. I didn’t even need a pit board. I could just hear his bike. So, I knew he was going to be there. I saw on the second restart, I looked at his tire and I was like, ‘Man, his tire looks awesome.’ So, I knew he was going to be there because my tires and especially Jake’s (Gagne), it looked like we had some wear on there already. I looked at Zanetti’s and I said, ‘That Ducati tire is holding up.’ I knew he was going to be there. So, I just tried to stay steady and put the last few laps together.”

Fong also knows that having the Ducati’s of Zanetti and Kyle Wyman competitive in the MotoAmerica Series is good for everyone.

“We need more manufacturers here,” Fong said. “It’s good to have Ducati here. Hopefully, it comes back. Obviously, I think he’ll be at Laguna. We need factory Ducati back in this thing. Hopefully (Lorenzo) Zanetti’s result today can help motivate Ducati to get back in the U.S. We need to get American racing back on top because (Garrett) Gerloff has shown that American riders aren’t any joke, and Joe Roberts, as well. American talent is high for sure and we need to get American racing back on top.”

Zanetti rebounded from the off-track excursion to finish third in yesterday’s HONOS Superbike race one.