WSB: 1000cc V4 Panigale breaks cover in Jerez

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The 1000cc version of the V4-engined Panigale Ducati will race in 2019 broke cover at Jerez today, where the Italian marque are testing with Lorenzo Zanetti alongside their World Superbike team.

While the 1103cc version was presented to the world back in November, with the world’s press, including MCN’s Matt Wildee, sampling the 216bhp machine for the first time at Valencia last weekend, the 1000cc race version has not been officially unveiled by Ducati as of yet.

A homologation special race machine is nothing new for Ducati. They introduced the Panigale R back in 2014 after increasing the v-twin Panigale street bike’s capacity to 1285cc – above the 1200cc permitted for v-twin machines in most mainstream race series.

However, with Ducati moving to a V4 engine for their latest flagship sports bike, they must now comply with the 1000cc limit as well as the rest of the grid.  

The introduction of the V4 Panigale R in 2019 will mean all bikes on both the World and British Superbike grids are 1000cc or below for the first time since the introduction of the 1098 Ducati in 2008.

Aruba Ducati’s Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri are expected to get their first run out on the V4 race steed in at least one test this year, while reigning British Superbike champion Shane Byrne is also set to test the new offering at some point this season.

On first observations the bike is narrower, and much more similar in physical size to the other latest generation 1000cc sports bikes while it sounds very similar to the 1103cc version already available in dealers, with the V4 scream retaining some v-twin characteristics through Ducati’s clever firing intervals. 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing