Spy Shot: 2012 Ducati Superbike Superquadrata

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It was only a matter of time until a photo of the new 2012 Ducati Superbike “Superquadrata” appeared online, as we knew the bike was testing last week at Mugello, alongside Valentino Rossi’s further testing of the Ducati Desmosedici GP12. Set to debut at the 2011 EICMA show, the new Ducati Superbike is a marked departure from the current Ducati Superbike 1198.

Up until now, we did not know fully what the bike would look like, but this photo featured by sheds some light on the new Ducati, and confirms earlier reports we’d been given. Featuring an over-square v-twin motor (hence the name Superquadrata that’s been milling about), the 2012 Ducati Superbike says goodbye to the iconic trellis frame, and features a chassis that takes a page from Ducati’s MotoGP project.

Expected to use an aluminum stressed airbox/forward sub-frame (though we expect the higher-spec versions to use carbon fiber), the 2012 Ducati Superbike builds the chassis off the v-twin motor. We see confirmation of this by the spied Superquadrata’s extremely long swingarm, which attaches to the engine as well. This arrangement should give the new Superbike a lower weight (20 lbs saved we hear), and not to mention better handling, which the bike will need in order to tame the additional horsepower the over-square Superquadrata motor will make.

Testing the bike at Mugello was Italian Danilo Petrucci, who currently campaigns a Ducati 1098R in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup for the Barni Racing team. Also according to reports, Ernesto Marinelli, former factory Ducati Wold Superbike engineer and current crew chief for Carlos Checa, is overseeing the testing of the new Superbike, keeping a keen eye on how the bike will fare for the 2012 World Superbike season.

It’s interesting to note the horizontal position of the rear shock, and the noticeable GP-style exhaust on the rider’s right side. This partially confirms that the new Superquadrata Superbike would take its exhaust cues from the Ducati Desmosedici, with exhaust cans at the rider’s feet, as well as one integrated into the tail section. We’ll have to wait for better pictures of the bike to confirm that aspect of what our sources have told us, but so far so good. More info as we get it, but doesn’t that bike look tiny?