When the MotoGP rules moved to ban winglets in the premier class, it was clear that this cut deeper at Ducati than any other brand, and that this simply wasn’t just a loophole closed technical regulation. The Italian motorcycle manufacturer had invested heavily in aerodynamic aids on motorcycles, with an eye on bringing the technology to its production machines.
This led us here at Asphalt & Rubber to speculate for over a year now about the addition of winglets to Borgo Panigale’s upcoming homologation special, the Ducati Panigale V4 R.
Fueling the fire has been the World Superbike Championship’s allowance for winglets, so long as they come on the homologation bike, all but sealing the deal that we would see manufacturers following suit. As such, we have already seen Aprilia dabble in this arena, and now it seems Ducati is about to show its hand.
The tip comes from a casual mention in a tweet from Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali:
Misano was one week ago but still emotion is high. Ducati Corse improved a lot and learned many things. Cannot wait to release all this to our future versions of production V4’s. Frame stiffness, swing arm construction, traction control strategy, aerodynamic package… pic.twitter.com/eeeAOfWcpB
— Claudio Domenicali (@domenicaliC) September 19, 2018
Race-going motorcycle brands love to brag about how the technology they create for the race track is trickling down to their production machines, and Ducati is no different. Most recently we have seen the traction control protocols from Ducati Corse find their way into Ducati’s superbikes, and now it seems the aerodynamic aids will do the same.
Unrestricted by MotoGP regulations, however, it will be interesting to see what type of winglets Ducati brings to the Panigale V4 R. Will the winglets be the fins that we so (un)lovingly remember from the Desmosedici GP16? Or will the design be closer to what is currently used, and thus be more of a part of the fairing?
We likely have another month or so to wait, as we don’t expect the 2019 Ducati Panigale V4 R to debut until the EICMA show in Milan, which is the second week of November. We can guess that price though, and that will be a cool €40,000 – the price cap for the World Superbike Championship. You have to pay to play.