Latest Ducati News
World Superbike bosses are considering scrapping the controversial reverse grid system introduced for the 2017 season after it hasn’t worked out as they expected.
The convoluted system sees the top three riders from Saturday’s opening race start race two from the third row of the grid in reverse order, with those finishing fourth, fifth and sixth elevated to the front row and those in seventh, eighth and ninth moving fourth, fifth and sixth.
The hope was that it would make race two closer and give the teams and riders often unable to compete with the might of the factory Kawasaki and Ducati squads a chance to be competitive.
However, the system has proved ineffective, with no race two podium so far this season having featured riders from any team other than the factory Kawasaki and Ducati outfits.
Not only that, but the system also hasn’t provided closer racing in the early stages with the top riders taking no time at all to make it to the front in the early laps.
Ducati unveils the new 1299 Panigale R Final Edition during Laguna Seca WorldSBK weekend in a fitting tribute to the legendary twin-cylinder engine, the most victorious in SBK World Championship history:
• 209 hp* Superquadro 1299 engine with components derived from Ducati Corse in a Panigale R chassis, this bike is destined for cult status
• Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali and the riders of Aruba.it Racing–Ducati team to present the new special Ducati at Laguna Seca Saturday on Ducati Island
• Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri to race with a “Final Edition” livery
The new 1299 Panigale R Final Edition is more than just a bike with a dedicated color scheme or a limited edition.With a tricolor livery, as eye-catching as it is evocative, it offers a fitting tribute to Ducati’s iconic twin-cylinder power unit, which reaches its peak on this latest bike.
For its world preview, Ducati has chosen round eight of the World Superbike Championship, taking place this weekend at Laguna Seca (California-US), where Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, unveiled the new 1299 Panigale R Final Edition together with Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri (the two official Aruba.it Racing–Ducati riders and stars of the excellent presentation video).
This latest built-in-Bologna gem offers unparalleled technology, performance, and design. A Euro 4 compliant road bike, each 1299 Panigale R Final Edition is individually numbered. An offshoot of the 1299 Superleggera engine, the Final Edition Superquadro packs a 209 hp* punch at 11,000 rpm and a torque of 14.5 kg at 9,000 rpm. It features a lighter crankshaft with a larger crank pin and tungsten balancing pads, while the con-rods, like the intake-exhaust valves, are made of titanium. As on Superbike engines, the two 116 mm diameter, pistons have just two segments and slide on steel cylinder liners.
Developed by Ducati Corse, the ultra-compact monocoque structure incorporates the airbox and plays a pivotal role in containing the dry weight of the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition to just 179 kg**.
The chassis set-up on this latest Ducati Supersport is the same as that on the Panigale R, characterized by Öhlins mechanical suspension and a 24° rake.
Equally sophisticated and light is the complete all-titanium Akrapovič exhaust with high dual silencer (Euro 4 compliant), just like the one on the Panigale R that competes in the World Superbike championship.
The electronics package features the Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and is equipped with ABS Cornering, Ducati Wheelie Control EVO (DWC EVO), Ducati Traction Control EVO (DTC EVO) and Engine Brake Control (EBC). These systems have default settings linked to the selected Riding Mode (Race, Sport, and Wet) but can be personalized as desired.
Top-drawer tech content and the all-new tricolor livery ensure the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition is set to gain cult status among the vast community of Ducati twin-cylinder aficionados.
“I’m incredibly proud to present this latest version of our Panigale” stated Claudio Domenicali during the presentation. “Maybe no other motorcycle manufacturer has bound its name so tightly to an engine as Ducati has to its sports twin-cylinder. Today, we’re here to celebrate its history, just as we stand on the cusp of a new era in which our desmodromic system will be used on a new generation of V4 engines derived from extensive experience in MotoGP, a championship in which our engine has demonstrated outstanding performance. But that’s the future. Today, we want to pay homage to a twin-cylinder engine that – thanks to incredible torque and compactness – has seen Ducati win races in every SBK championship it has ever participated in. In short, it’s the engine that has written World Superbike history. From Marco Lucchinelli’s first victory on 3rd April 1988 with the 851 at Donington Park (in the first-ever world championship for modified production models) to the stunning 2017 wins by Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri on the Panigale R, Ducati has won no less than 333 races and taken 17 Constructors’ titles and 14 Rider’s titles”.
The 1299 Panigale R Final Edition will play a pivotal role throughout the weekend at Laguna Seca. On Saturday morning, immediately after the Superpole, the bike will go on display both at Ducati Island (the space Ducati traditionally sets aside for its fans during American events) and inside the Paddock Show.
And, to complete this historic moment, the Aruba.it Racing–Ducati team has decided to celebrate the arrival of the new 1299 Panigale R Final Edition by decking out its two official race bikes in the same special livery, to be used by Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri on Saturday in Race 1 and on Sunday in Race 2.
American and European motorcycle racers enter the gates of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend to do battle and pay tribute to a great American rider, Nicky Hayden.Hayden, the 2006 MotoGP world champion, won two MotoGP rounds at Mazda RacewaRead more