The Panigale V4 has finally taken the first step of fulfilling its purpose
Ducati is running it on WSBK tests for it to compete in the 2019 seasonby Sagar, on
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.
In what will go down as the biggest shift for the company, Ducati launched its four-cylinder V4 Desmosedici Stradale Panigale back in November 2017. It will not only be seen on just one model, the V4, but an entire lineup of high-powered motorcycles Ducati plans to unleash onto the world streets. With this, the company wants to reconquer their World Superbike dreams along with the recent success in their MotoGP stint.
Since the rules of WSBK requires the bikes be derived from standard production models on sale, Ducati saw it fitting to release the V4 to us puny mortals before the big guys race with it on tracks. The Panigale Rs’ are without a doubt too good a bike to participate, but with the rules of the sport ever changing, the twin-cylinder engines are losing more ground than the other four-pot machines.
Take the 2018 rule change for example. Among the measures to be put in place are an adjustable rev limit and a freeze on engine development for teams that tally up the necessary concession points from dry-weather top-three finishes. With Ducati at that spot, they will receive a heavy blow.
Already the Panigale Rs’ have shown lackluster exiting corners due to a lack of torque at low revs from its twin cylinder motor. With the new rules, it is going to be more challenging for the riders to keep pace in the corners since they will have to change gears much more often than the others running a low-rpm high torque four-cylinder engines.
The goal of these tests is to introduce the Desmosedici Stradale V4 onto the WSBK for the 2019 season and regain world dominance back. Currently, the bike being tested is in race-specification trim but needs “work on every aspect of the bike, engine, electronics and cycling” says Serafino Foti, Aruba.it Racing team manager.
For a third successive year, Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will be racing the Panigale R in the Superbike World Championship. In Superbike Ducati has won 17 Manufacturers’ titles and 14 Riders’ titles and in 2011 passed the historic milestone of 300 race victories.