The retirement of Nicky Hayden’s racing number at the Grand Prix of the Americas wasn’t the only tribute being done for America’s beloved motorcycle racer. This is because on stage at Ducati Island, a special tribute bike was unveiled  that remembers the Italian brand’s history with the Kentucky Kid,

The special Ducati Panigale V4 is the work of the folks at MotoCorsa, and it imagines what Nicky’s Ducati MotoGP race bike would look like in street bike form.

After Alvaro Bautista’s runaway success since joining the WorldSBK series, winning all six main races and all three Superpole races, mostly by a significant margin, the FIM has made the first move toward balancing out performance.

Starting from the next round at Assen, the Ducati Panigale V4R is to lose 250 revs, while the Honda CBR1000RR, which has struggled badly since the start of the year, is to given an extra 500 revs on the maximum rev limit.

The Ducati Panigale V4 R is the newest bike on the Superbike block, and as you’d expect it is the most advanced bike on the WorldSBK grid. 

The Italian manufacturer has developed a tremendous package over the winter, to immediately vault to the top of the pile in the production based series, and with Alvaro Bautista having been undefeated in the opening two rounds of the championship, he has laid the foundations of a very strong title challenge.

This is a production based series, and Ducati has developed a so-called ‘homologation special.’ While the rest of the grid comprises of heavily developed machinery, the Ducati was developed as a no holds barred, pure bred racing machine.

This is a throwback to a bygone era when the likes of Honda would develop their Superbike machinery with the sole goal of winning the title.

No compromises are made with a homologation special. Other than costing a maximum of €40,000, there is very little that isn’t maximised on the machinery.

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Episode 96 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one is a special show on the MotoGP’s handling of Ducati’s aerodynamic swingarm appendage, aka “The Spoon” device. 

As such, this means that we see Steve English and David Emmett on the mics, first discussing the issues around the MotoGP rulebook, the appeals process for protesting Ducati’s swingarm, and how the MotoGP Court of Appeal came to its decision.

The show is a fascinating and exhaustive look into the matter, which we think you will find very interesting. Of course, the decision will have big implications for the MotoGP paddock, as we go further into the dark world of aerodynamic development.

Today, at 11am CET, the MotoGP Court of Appeal meets to consider the case of Ducati’s swing arm spoiler, fitted to all three Desmosedici GP19s raced at the opening MotoGP round in Qatar.

Three trained lawyers are to hear the case put by Aprilia, Honda, KTM, and Suzuki, that Ducati’s spoiler breaches the technical guidelines set out by MotoGP Technical Director Danny Aldridge.

The Court of Appeal is hearing the case after it was rejected twice on the Sunday evening of the Qatar race.

The FIM Stewards first rejected the protest submitted by the four manufacturers against Ducati, and the FIM Appeal Stewards upheld that decision when those four manufacturers appealed the FIM Stewards’ rejection.

The FIM Appeal Stewards then referred that decision to the highest court inside the FIM, the FIM MotoGP Court of Appeal.

At the heart of the appeal is the belief that Ducati’s spoiler creates an aerodynamic downforce. This is a violation of the technical guidelines issued by Danny Aldridge during preseason testing, which banned aerodynamic parts being attached to the rear swing arm unless they were being used to deflect water, protect the tire from debris, or cool the rear tire.

Our confidence level was already quite high that we would be seeing a streetfighter version of the Panigale V4 later this year at the EICMA show in Milan.

Our Bothan spies have been telling us that a new Streetfighter was in the works for some time now, and then there is this very suspicious race entry by Ducati for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. But above all else, a Ducati Streetfighter V4 just makes sense on so many levels.

Now, we see that the Swiss lads at AcidMoto have had a chance to talk to Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali about the debut of a such a machine, and the Italian is a bit coy in his response. 

Naturally, Domenicali doesn’t come right out and say that a Streetfighter V4 is coming…but he doesn’t reject the thought like he has with other V4 projects (sorry, no V4 supersport machines are in the works).

Here’s an excerpt from AcidMoto’s interview with the Ducati CEO, gorilla translated from French to English by Google:

AcidMoto.ch: Okay. Let’s talk about the V4. The Panigale V4R wins all the votes, although we have not yet had the honor to test it. Can we hope that this engine is found on other motorcycles, a Streetfighter V4 for example?

Claudio Domenicali: Do you think that Ducati should produce such a motorcycle?

AcidMoto.ch: Yes, there is a big demand, it’s a question that often comes back to our readers.

Claudio Domenicali: Then she will be there as soon as possible!

Source: AcidMoto

“There’s no replacement for displacement” in racing but what about power? In particular what about peak power and where a bike reaches it?

For WorldSBK purposes, the peak power of an engine is defined as the rev limit on the production machine, plus 3%.

Calculating this takes a little bit more math, as it requires you to average the rev limit from both the third and fourth gears, and then once this has been established, the FIM typically add an extra 3% to that RPM figure.

The rev limits are defined at the start of the championship season, but they aren’t set in stone for the duration of the championship. They can be changed at the discretion of organisers as the year progresses.

Having been introduced to much fanfare 12 months ago, the new limits are of interest again in 2019 because we have new bikes on the grid. The most newsworthy new machine is the headline grabbing Ducati Panigale V4 R, but it should be noted that  Kawasaki, BMW and Honda also have newly homologated bikes, and thus also new rev limits.

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During the offseason for the WorldSBK series, I sent our man Steve English on a photo-finding mission. He came back victorious from his endeavor, bringing us our first look at the WorldSBK-spec BMW S1000RR superbike that Tom Sykes will campaign this season.

Today, we have another treasure trove of photos from that outing, as we bring you an “up-close” gallery of Eugene Laverty’s Ducati Panigale V4 RS19 race bike, which was back-to-back testing components at Portimão, ahead of this weekend’s season-opener.

A motorcycle that we have covered extensively here at Asphalt & Rubber, you might be wondering why another Panigale V4 is gracing our pages. For that, let me explain.

Episode 8 of the Brap Talk podcast is out for your two-wheeled audio pleasure, and because of our hiatus, it is a super-long show.

This two-hour long installment covers three main topics. After getting up to speed on what we have been up to, we talk about the Ducati Hypermotard 950 international press launch, and what this giant supermotard is like on the street and the track.

From the African continent we move back to our hometown of Portland, Oregon, where The One Motorcycle Show took place, and once again solidified itself as one of the most important custom shows in the United States.