That Ducati is about to debut a V4 superbike is perhaps the worst-kept secret right now in the motorcycle industry, and when we saw the Ducati 1299 Panigale S Anniversario late last year, we were sure this would be last “new” Panigale from its namesake, Borgo Panigale.
Getting ready to send the v-twin superbike on its final farewell, it seems Ducati still has a few surprises up its sleeve, as the Italian brand has released a teaser video for an event on July 7th, with the tagline “When the End Tells the Whole Story.”
Filled with quick-takes on a Panigale superbike, in the red/white Corse livery (just like on the Ducati 1299 Superleggera), the video is surely a nod to the end-of-the-line for this big-displacement v-twin superbike. The words “Panigale Final Edition” in the video title are a tip-off too.
Interestingly enough, July 7th is the start of the World Superbike round at Laguna Seca, which is of note because part of the impetus for a V4 superbike from Ducati is how the rules are structured for WorldSBK.
No longer under Italian control, the World Superbike paddock is not the happy hunting grounds that it once was for Ducati and other Italian brands, and it is said that Dorna is looking for displacement parity across all the superbike models.
This has lead to an increasingly difficult rules package for Ducati and its v-twin superbikes, so in a role-reversal to what we saw in the late 1990s with the Japanese manufacturers, Ducati is getting into the four-cylinder race bike game, with a “if can’t beat them, join them” strategy.
While we expect to see the V4 superbike debut later this year, at the EICMA show in Milan, we know that the Ducati Panigale R will remain the company’s race bike through the 2018 season, with Ducati preferring to develop its new superbike in a lower class for season, before bringing it to the premier production series.
Still, we are sure that Ducatisti will be eager to see this new V4 machine…but first, it seems we are not quite done yet with its two-cylinder counterpart. More on that in a couple weeks, it would seem.