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The Ducati Multistrada V4 family got a little bigger today, with the Italian brand offering the Ducati Multistrada V4 Rally for the 2023 model year.

The bike is aimed at the niche carved out by bikes like the BMW R1250GS Adventure, where long-distance travel (over questionable terrain) is the name of the game. 

To aid in that goal, Ducati has added several key features that set the Multistrada V4 Rally apart from the rest of the Bologna brand’s lineup.

With barely a moment to catch its collective breath, the MotoGP paddock alights at Buriram, in the east of Thailand.

The heavy rain which lashed the paddock in Motegi has followed them across the South China Sea, with heavy rain and flooding in many parts of Thailand.

Some who chose to drive rather than fly from Bangkok to Buriram reported flooded roads at several points along the way, and fields around the track are also flooded.

Nor is the rain done with MotoGP just yet. Thursday’s media duties took place in heavy rain, marshals and circuit workers doing their best to rid the track of the worst of its surface water.

The MotoGP calendar continues to expand. Today, Dorna announced in an unusually brief press release that the Sokol International Racetrack, 50 kilometers north  east of Almaty in Kazakhstan, is to be added to the MotoGP calendar for 2023 for a five-year period.

The Kazakh track is still in the process of being built, and so will face homologation and safety checks before the race will be confirmed as happening in 2023.

The race in Kazakhstan will take the slot vacated by the now defunct Kymiring in Finland, which failed due to its business case collapsing when Russia invaded Ukraine.

The BMW S1000RR is getting some meaningful updates for the 2023 model year, most of which seem to be targeted towards requests made by the company’s WorldSBK and critical feedback from journalists and customers regarding the previous iteration.

That’s welcomed news, because despite our excitement when the current generation S1000RR debuted, we found that BMW had essentially ruined the bike with its US specification – adding a giant hole to the middle of the throttle map.

While quite the looker, the BMW S1000RR didn’t do anything particularly better than its competition, and in certain aspects of the bike (e.g. the front brake performance), the machine was notably off the mark.

It is hard to tell if BMW Motorrad has completely fixed all these issues now for 2023, but the company has made an extensive list of improvements to the bike’s chassis, bodywork, and electronics.

Episode 298 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one sees us looking back on the Japanese GP at Motegi.

On the mics, we have the usual crew of Steve English, Adam WheelerDavid Emmett, and Neil Morrison as they talk about the events from the Japanese round.

In the show, the guys cover a lot of ground, starting off with the strange circumstances of the weekend, and the effect a lack of track time had on results.

We are entering the four most important weekends of the season. Important for a lot of reasons: there are five races to go and just 17 points separate the championship leaders.

But above all, important because we are heading to three tracks where MotoGP hasn’t been since 2019, and Sepang, where MotoGP has only tested in 2020 and 2022. We are heading into the unknown, just as the championship is coming to a head.

So much has changed since MotoGP was on its last Pacific tour. Valentino Rossi was still in the Monster Energy Yamaha team. A young rookie called Fabio Quartararo was making a massive impression on fans.

Andrea Dovizioso was doing his best to win a championship for Ducati, against an unstoppable Marc Marquez. Marquez was having perhaps the best season in grand prix racing since Giacomo Agostini crushed the opposition in the late 1960s on the MV Agusta.

2019 saw the ride-height devices first start to make an appearance, Jack Miller using the system in Thailand. It was the last year of the old Michelin rear casing, the new tire introduced in 2020 effectively killing off Andrea Dovizioso’s career.

The Ducati Monster lineup will grow by another model for the 2023 model year, as the Italian brand has announced the new Ducati Monster SP for next year.

Available in January 2023, the Ducati Monster SP boasts Öhlins suspension, Brembo Stylema calipers, and a homologated Termignoni exhaust amongst other key features.

With a price tag of $15,595 MSRP for the USA, the Monster SP commands a $2,900 price difference over the lesser-spec’d Monster+.

That extra coin gets you the above-mentioned goodies, along with a “MotoGP inspired” livery, lithium-ion battery, and a steering damper. All told, the Monster SP is just under 5 lbs lighter than its cheaper sibling.

The business structure of Ducati Motor Holding is a lot like one of those nesting Russian dolls – the Italian motorcycle brand is owned by Lamborghini, which is owned by Audi, which is owned by Volkswagen…whose stock is largely owned by Porsche, which is also owned by VW.

Are you still with me? Good, because it will can also be a little confusing without this knowledge to see the Lamborghini name on a motorcycle. This isn’t the first time that the two Bologna companies have made a fraternal partnership, however.

The Ducati Diavel 1260 Lamborghini was a polarizing project, but a strong-seller for Ducati, with the bike selling out almost instantly once it debuted.

Lamborghini and Ducati are now looking to rekindle that magic, and have tapped the Ducati Streetfighter V4 S for the job. As such, say hello to the Ducati Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini.

The recent spate of official rider announcements means that the MotoGP rider line up for 2023 is nearly complete.

The official confirmation by Aprilia that Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez would be racing in the RNF Aprilia squad brings the total of confirmed riders signed to 18. All of the factory seats are now occupied, and just four of the satellite seats remain open.

Aprilia is making a tradition out of track-only specials for a discerning few (take a loo at the Tuono X and RSV4 X, and the latest iteration of that thought is certainly a stunner. Say hello to the Aprilia RSV4 XTrenta.

Only 100 units of this track weapon will be made, and in order to put one in your garage, you will need to shell out €50,000 (excluding VAT) from your pocketbook.

For that exclusivity and that chunk of change though, you get quite the potent superbike.

With seven races left in the 2022 MotoGP season, we are approaching the final stretch. There are 175 points left to play for, and Fabio Quartararo has a lead of 32 points over Aleix Espargaro.

That means that Espargaro still has his fate in his own hands: he can become 2022 MotoGP champion by the simple expedient of winning every MotoGP race left, and if Quartararo finishes second in all seven races, the Aprilia rider would take his first championship by a slim margin of 3 points.