Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali has officially dismissed rumours the company is about to replace the 1299 Panigale superbike range with a new four-cylinder superbike featuring a standard aluminium frame.
Speaking exclusively to MCN in a one-to-one interview at the firm’s Bologna factory last week, Ducati CEO Domenicali poured cold water on the rumours.
Suggestions the Italian manufacturer was planning a replacement for the current Panigale range surfaced online a few weeks ago but there appeared to be little or no firm foundation beneath the claims. Multiple websites around the world regurgitated the same unsubstantiated rumours as fact – but MCN was unconvinced.
The speculation suggested Ducati were going to ditch the relatively new Superquadro 1299 Panigale V-twin and the frameless design of the range-topping Ducati superbike in favour of either a V4 or inline four-cylinder engine with an aluminium beam frame in pursuit of racing success.
Last week MCN flew to the Borgo Panigale factory to ask the CEO of Ducati direct if they were planning a four-cylinder superbike of any kind, he said: “No. There will not be a replacement of this kind in 2017 as these rumours have suggested. I can confirm there is no officially confirmed project at Ducati for a four-cylinder engine to replace the Panigale V-twin. There is no Ducati four-cylinder superbike planned.
“We have a V4 MotoGP bike of course. Maybe someone got confused!
“We consider and discuss many, many things but that includes many things that are far from actually happening – but that is natural for a company and normal. I know every project that has been officially approved at Ducati and there is nothing like this right now.”