Twelve one-off Ducati V4 S race spec machines up for grabs
Ducati’s biggest festival celebrating the iconic Italian brand’s 90 years of passion, emotions, and excellence - World Ducati Week 2018 – is just around the corner to attract thousands of Ducatisti and passionate motorcyclists from all over the world. Invading the Adriatic Coast from 20 to 22 July 2018 at the Misano World Circuit "Marco Simoncelli".
Amongst the host of events and attractions is "The Race of Champions" where top Ducati riders from MotoGP, WSBK and other motorsports arena will lineup on the track to battle it out on the new one-off purpose built Panigale V4 S specked out especially for this competition. And 12 of these machines can all be yours. Read ahead.
The Panigale V4 has finally taken the first step of fulfilling its purpose
The preliminary two-day WorldSBK test at the world famous circuit of Jerez, Spain has been completed and the World SuperBike Championship teams have just begun getting grips of their new machines and expectations. But there was an air of desperation and anticipation when the sight of a new bike and the roar of a new engine was present at Jerez.
It was Ducati’s new fanboy, the Panigale V4. Wrapped in black, without many liveries, the V4 took 64 laps and six hours of testing at Jerez along with Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri testing out their Panigale Rs’ for the 2018 season. After seeing the performance and Ducati test rider, Lorenzo Zanetti’s lap-times, the Italians will probably enter the halo machine into the WSBK sooner than expected.
Ducati showcases a new look for their 2018 MotoGP season
It has been over a couple of months that the world witnessed the end of the 2017 MotoGP championship. But for many like me, excitement levels are even higher now with the teams busy putting the 2018 MotoGP bikes through their paces and testing their readiness for the opening race of the MotoGP in Qatar.
Showcasing their 2018 game-plan, Ducati introduced the Ducati Desmosedici GP18 prototype that comes with a fresh new flair. With the Italian brand’s most successful MotoGP campaign behind them, Ducati promises an exciting 2018 season at an event in front of a packed crowd of media, press, team sponsors and the factory riders Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo.
Have any of you ever fancied the thought of riding a MotoGP bike as it goes all-out on a legitimate racing circuit? If you answered yes, you’re in luck because MotoGP’s Riders for Health charity organization is offering interested participants a just to experience just that.
The caveat, of course, is that you actually won’t be riding the MotoGP bike, in this case the Ducati Desmosedici, by yourself. You’re going to have be accompanied by a professional rider in a two-seater version of Ducati’s MotoGP-prepped racing horse.
The ride-along will take place during the Silverstone leg of the MotoGP calendar on the weekend of August 30, 2015. More importantly, MotoGP racer Randy Mamola and Ducati test rider Franco Battaini will both be in attendance, ready to offer a rider to anybody willing enough to experience the frenetic feeling of riding a real MotoGP race bike.
The rides will make use of a specially modified version of the Desmosedici, complete with a reinforced suspension system and rear subframe, stronger spring with improved compression braking, and higher preload to accommodate the extra weight of another full-sized adult riding shotgun on the bike.
There’s still no word on how much the ride-along is going to cost, but with the involvement of Riders for Health, you can be sure that whatever that amount is will go to the charity organization to help with its mission of supplying motorcycles and maintenance for health workers in African countries.
Continue reading to read more about Riders For Health’s Ducati Two-Seater Ride promotion.
By its own standards, Ducati has had a pretty successful season. It’s been competitive in all of the races and for a large majority of the first few legs of the season, it’s been the most consistent with six podium finishes in eight races. But the team’s impressive run this season will have its downside beginning next year when it losses all of its concessions for the 2016 MotoGP season, putting in under the same rules as Yamaha and Honda. Welcome to the wacky and sometimes confusing world of MotoGP.
As per the current rules Yamaha and Honda fall under, Ducati will begin the 2016 season with a similar set of rules, one that includes a limit of seven engines per season, no in-season development, and a restriction on testing using factory riders. It’s a far cry from the rules Ducati currently enjoys, including the allowance for 12 engines per season, which they are free to develop during the year, and unlimited testing.
Unfortunately for Ducati, the success they’ve enjoyed this season comes with a price. The Desmosedici GP15 has also proved to be a capable and competitive bike in the series, despite it still being a young project compared to what Yamaha and Honda have at their disposals.
The Grand Prix Commission’s decision to strip Ducati of its concessions was expected by those who saw how competitive the team has been this season. That said, the timing of the announcement was a little surprising since the season has not concluded yet. But according to numerous reports, the GPC decided to act earlier to give Ducati time to prepare ahead of what could be a dramatically different 2016 season for the team.
Once the changes are put in place, Ducati will receive the same concessions as Yamaha and Honda. In addition to what I already mentioned, some of these other concessions include the same amount of fuel, same spec electronics, and same allocation of tires.
It’s the price Ducati will soon pay for the success it’s been having this season. It seems a little weird for the MotoGP novice to have these rules in place, but that’s the series’ way of balancing the playing field for all participating teams, something I wish Formula One would do at some point in the future.
Continue reading to read more about Ducati losing its MotoGP concessions beginning in the 2016 season.
If there is one motorcycle manufacturer that’s associated with success in the World Superbike Championship, it has to be Ducati. Ever since the series was established in 1988, Ducati has gone on to win 17 manufacturers titles in 27 seasons. Doing that means finishing in the podium in a lot of these races, something Ducati has done more than anybody else on its way to claiming its 800th podium finish in the first race of the Misano round of the 2015 season.
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team’s Chaz Davies took home that honor when he finished third in the first race, just behind the Kawasaki duo of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea. Ducati later on earned its 801st podium finish when Davies’ teammate, Davide Giugliano came in second in the second race behind Rea.
Despite not claiming any of the two race wins during the weekend, Ducati proved its worth as the winningest team in the history of the World Superbike Championship, accounting for 17 world titles, 314 wins, 167 pole positions, and now, 801 podium finishes.
It’s also worth noting that the Misano race track has been the site for Ducati’s 600th podium finish back in 2005 and 700th podium finish in 2009. The fact that many in the World Superbike Championship considers the track as Ducati’s “home soil” might have something to do with that.
None of that though is as important as this latest milestone for Ducati. It’s one thing to remain competitive for a few years, but Ducati has debunked that thought by staying relevant in the World Superbike Championship for the series’ entire existence.
That’s a testament to the consistency and pride the men and women over at Borgo Panigale just outside of Bologna have in continuing the team’s run of dominance in the WSBK.
Continue reading to read more about Ducati’s 800th podium finish.
Ducati Corse, the Italian motorcycle brand’s racing team division, has signed a partnership deal with KYMCO, making the latter the official scooter supplier of Ducati’s MotoGP and World Superbike squads.
As part of the arrangement between the two sides, KYMCO will be supplying a handful of its Agility R16 50 4T + scooters to Ducati Corse where they will presumably be used in the MotoGP and World Superbike paddocks. Apparently, these Agility R16 50 4T + scooters are also being treated to a Ducati makeover featuring rider-specific liveries being used by the team’s MotoGP and WSBK riders.
You’ll be able to tell the difference between the sets of Agility R16 50 4T + scooters that will be used in MotoGP and World Superbike. The Ducati MotoGP team will be using Agility R16 50 4T + scooters dressed in the team’s official red and white matte livery whereas the scooters that will be used by the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike team in the WSBK will be dressed up in the team’s famous red and black livery.
Unfortunately, KYMCO isn’t planning to put versions of these scooters for sale, even as limited editions. So if you we’re thinking of scoring any one of these KYMCO-scooters-dressed-up-as-Ducatis, you’re going to be out of luck.
Then again, if Ducati had its own line of scooters to begin with, it wouldn’t have the need to partner with a scooter company like KYMCO. But yeah, that’s an entirely different can of worms.
Continue reading to read more about Ducati’s new partnership with KYMCO
Ducati has revealed the Scrambler-inspired race bike Troy Bayliss will ride in the 2015 AMA Pro Grand National Series, officially cementing Bayliss’ return to active competition after what could be very well be one of the quickest retirements in motorcycle racing history.
The 46-year old former World Superbike champion will be riding a saucy looking Scrambler prepared by Lloyd Brothers Motorsports in conjunction with Ducati and famed Ducati collector Jim Dillard. The bike itself was specially developed to fit the requirements of the racing series. The frame, for example, was specially built for Flat Track competition while the suspension, the 19-inch wheels, and the absence of a front brake were all added to acquiesce to the regulations set forth by the AMA.
Aesthetically, Bayliss’ new race bike has all the makings of a head-turner. The splashy yellow and black livery is a clear hat tip to the Scrambler Icon, even though the craftsmanship of the bike itself, specifically the wider flat handle and the rising exhausts on the right side of the bike, seems to have been taken from the Full Throttle version.
Either way, the bike looks ready to compete in the 2015 AMA Flat Track Championship. Bayliss even has a matching yellow-and-black racing uniform to complete his gear in time for his season debut in the third round of the series at Springfield Mile on May 24, 2015.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, Bayliss will be competing in five races for Lloyd Brothers Motorsports where he will be joined by teammate Johnny Lewis.
Continue reading to read more about Troy Bayliss’ new AMA Flat Track Championship ride.
Apparently, the word “retirement” doesn’t mean a whole lot to Troy Bayliss. That, or he has without question the loosest definition of the word out of anybody I know. Either way, Bayliss is going back to the saddle in pursuit of checkered flags after confirming his intentions to race for Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Ducati at the 2015 AMA Pro Grand National Series.
The 46-year old former World Superbike champion may be far from his prime, but he’s still pretty good racing motorbikes, which is probably why it wasn’t that hard for him to resist the invitation to give it one more go at racing competition.
But instead of racing on road surfaces, Bayliss will join new teammate Johnny Lewis in five mile-long racing events of the series, beginning with the Springfield Mile in Illinois on May 24. It might be a little jarring seeing Bayliss competing outside of the World Superbike Championship, but a lot of people don’t know that dirt and flat track racing is where he cut his teeth as a neophyte, using the experience he gained from his run on dirt tracks to fuel his racing career.
So think about it as Bayliss’ career coming full circle, possibly ending where it all started. Nobody really knows what’s in store for Bayliss once he starts racing again, but a lot of his fans will be hoping to see vintage Troy Bayliss in what could possibly be his last go-round on a motorcycle racing bike.
Then again, this is Troy Bayliss we’re talking about. It might be the AMA Pro Grand National Series today, but at this point, I’m not discounting any thought of him retiring for good. Some people are just born to race.
Continue reading to read more about Troy Bayliss’ plans to race in the AMA Pro Grand National Series.
Valentino Rossi scored his second MotoGP win of the young season in remarkable fashion, taking home the win after a dramatic chase of the race leaders, culminating in a showdown with defending champion Marc Marquez, who promptly crashed out of the race in the dying stages after clipping the back wheel of Rossi’s Yamaha YZF-R1M in an attempt to regain the lead.
Rossi’s comeback was made more impressive after making up five seconds in the last 13 laps of the race, taking advantage of Marquez’s tire struggles as the race closed to a conclusion.
The reigning world champion actually led for most of the race, but Rossi’s decision to use a harder rear tire ended up being the ultimate trump card as it helped him gain precious time to ultimately challenge the race leaders. The Doctor caught up to Marquez with two laps remaining, culminating in a scintillating back-and-forth that pretty much had everybody on the edge of their seats.
Then came the crash.
The two actually made contact twice with the second proving to be Marquez’s undoing. In his rush to regain the lead, Marquez made contact with the back wheel of Rossi’s bike, sending the Honda crashing onto the tarmac, prematurely ending the Spaniard’s race.
The win now gives Rossi a nice lead on top of the standings with 66 points. Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso continued his stellar campaign this season, finishing second for the third straight race to stay in pace of Rossi at 60 points. Meanwhile, Marquez’s crash sent him tumbling down the standings as Dovizioso’s teammate, Andrea Iannone, and Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, vaulted ahead of the champ with 40 and 37 points, respectively.
Continue reading to read more about the results from the 2015 MotoGP race in Argentina.
Back-to-back MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has earned the right to talk a little smack. That’s the kind of cache you earn for winning the last two MotoGP titles. But the 22-year old is also not afraid of calling his own number when he’s wrong. Such was the case in the run-up to the Argentina Grand Prix when the reigning champion admitted that Ducati would be a title threat this season.
His take on the championship picture is a surprising reversal from previous comments he made in March 2014 when he basically called Ducati a “non-threat” to the championship.
But after two races that saw Ducati consistently challenge at the front of the pack, the world champ has changed his tune.
Marquez singled out Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso as a serious threat to his crown, noting that Dovizioso’s pace in the first two races of the season was something Repsol Honda needed to take seriously.
Speaking of Repsol Honda, Marquez’s concerns about Ducati also extends to the three-time constructor’s champion, which now has to deal with both Ducati and Yamaha if it hopes to make it four titles in a row.
It might not be an ideal place to be in for Marquez and Repsol Honda, but Ducati’s reemergence as a threat this season is a fantastic thing for the sport.
At the very least, we’re going to have a pretty exciting season ahead of us with Marquez, Dovizioso, and the two Yamaha riders - Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo - all primed to have big seasons.
Continue reading to read more about what lies ahead for the 2015 MotoGP season.
Nine-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi served notice to the rest of the grid that just because he’s won the title so many times, that doesn’t mean he’s not hungry for his 10th title. The Movistar Yamaha rider put on a resounding display of wits and guile on his way to winning the inaugural race of the 2015 MotoGP season in Qatar.
It was far from easy for Rossi, who started from 8th on the grid before picking his way though the field in time to engage the resurgent Ducati Desmosedici GP15 of Andrea Dovizioso into one of the most dramatic season-opening races in recent history. With only three laps remaining in the race, Rossi found himself running second behind Dovizioso and from there, the two riders engaged in a thrilling exchange of overtaking that went literally down to the final straight. In the end, it was the Doctor who edged past his rival, taking the chequered flag by 0.174 seconds!
You can’t start a MotoGP season any better than this!
For his part, Dovizioso and ride-mate Andrea Iannone showed that this season may end up becoming a three-team race to the championship, finishing second and third, respectively, to put the early-season spotlight on a possible Ducati resurgence.
While Rossi and Dovizioso were engaged in their own battle for the top step of the podium, Iannone also had an eventful conclusion to the race, holding off Rossi’s teammate and two-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo by .457 seconds for the last step on the podium.
Noticeably absent from the pulse-pounding finish were Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. The defending champion and his running mate really had a race to forget and that may even be putting it lightly. Marquez didn’t do himself any favors by running wide at the very first corner, forcing him to rejoin the race dead last. But give credit to the 22-year old for keeping his wits together and coming back strong to finish in fifth position, just 7.036 seconds off of Rossi’s winning time.
Meanwhile, Pedrosa came in just behind Marquez in sixth place, but the real story behind his weekend happened when he announced a previously undisclosed arm injury that could shelve him for the foreseeable future.
In a race that had so many ups-and-downs for Repsol Honda, news of Pedrosa’s injury could have the most lasting-effect on the team’s chances to defend its constructor’s title.
But hey, it’s just the season-opening race and anything can still happen as the season progresses.
For now, though, it’s Valentino Rossi once again serving notice that he’s still a threat to win the MotoGP title.
Better take notice, MotoGP. The Doctor is now in his office.
Photo courtesy of MotoGP.
Continue reading for my thoughts on MotoGP’s season-opening race in Qatar.
The 2015 MotoGP season kicks off on March 30, 2015 with the Qatar Grand Prix. That means we have close to five days left before lights turn green, signalling the start of what could very well be another action-packed season of the premier motorcycle racing series in the world.
I’m obviously geeked up for the 30th to arrive and I’m pretty confident that a lot of you share in my excitement. There are a lot of reasons to get pumped up for the start of the 2015 MotoGP season and certainly, there are a lot of interesting subplots that will play out over the next eight months that should make this year another one for the books.
The most obvious plot of the new MotoGP season revolves around Marc Marquez’s quest to win his third-straight MotoGP title. That hasn’t been done since Valentino Rossi won five straight titles from 2001 to 2005. Can Marquez do it? He’s certainly in a great position to do achieve it, although I wouldn’t put it past Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo to make it interesting for the 22-year old defending champion.
That’s only a sample of what we can expect ahead of the 2015 MotoGP season. So to get you primed up for this weekend’s season-opening race at the Qatar Grand Prix, continue after the jump as I answer a few more questions on what we can look forward to for the upcoming season of MotoGP.
Continue reading after the jump.