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When they were 990cc the small loss of power suffered by using valve springs was moot. The drop in power that occurred when the switch was made to 800cc meant that the Ducati had an edge that would remain until the competitors dropped their valve springs for pneumatic control. An extremely fast rider coupled with the extensive engine preparation that was well documented, and Ducati had an unbeatable combination for the opening year of the 800cc era. If Ducati were to make their Desmosedici engines available for the 1000cc CRT teams it would make for interesting results. Alloy twin spar chassis, 24 litres of fuel and no valve springs. Dorna would ban it in a flash.
Just my take on things.