Laguna Seca


With only 500 being made worldwide (and maybe 100 or so of them coming to the USA), the chances of getting to swing a leg over the Ducati Superleggera V4 are pretty slim. Riding one around Laguna Seca in anger? Even slimmer.

So naturally when Ducati North America called and asked if we wanted to do exactly that, the answer was an obvious yes.

That brings us to this moment, where on Thursday Asphalt & Rubber will get a chance to ride a $100,000 carbon-fiber-everything superbike around one of the most iconic race tracks in America. Sometimes, this job is really, really tough.

Funny enough, this is a rare case of the coronavirus actually causing some positive changes in the motorcycle industry, as normally the US would only get to send one publication to the press launch for a bike like this.

But instead, Ducati North America has the ability to host its own event, while the European magazines were forced to slum it at Mugello for a day. Hence, here we are.

Ok universe, you win… For the 2020 season, MotoAmerica will be adding a seventh class to its playlist for the Laguna Seca round, and that class will be comprised of highly modified baggers. Yup, baggers.

While many racing fans will be scratching their heads wondering why MotoAmerica is trying to pull an April Fools joke on us in February (Julian calendar, perhaps?), the American professional racing series seems quite excited about the money entertainment that the event will generate.

The 2020 WorldSBK Championship calendar has just been released by the FIM, and the 13-round series has some interesting changes for next year.

For American fans, the most obvious and notable change is the lack of a race in the United States, as Laguna Seca has been dropped from the schedule.

Other big changes include moving the Qatar round from the last race of the season, to the second race of the season, which means that it will take place just one week after the MotoGP season-opener at Losail.

Episode 109 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one is another WorldSBK show. As such, this means that we see Steve English joined by Gordon Ritchie on the mics, as they are now our World Superbike reporting duo for the 2019 season.

Recording straight from the United States, the guys talk about the on-track action at Laguna Seca, where we saw an unbelievable turn of events in the championship standings, mostly in the form of Alvaro Bautista’s complete meltdown on the track.

Photos: © 2019 Andrew Kohn / Asphalt & Rubber – All Rights Reserved

One of the highlights from the WorldSBK round at Laguna Seca was the unveiling of Bologna’s latest limited edition motorcycle, the Ducati Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916.

An homage to the Ducati 919 Superbike that helped dominate the production-based series, the 1,103cc superbike was unveiled by Carl Fogarty himself, the man who took Ducati to four WorldSBK Championship titles.

Here it is, the Ducati Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916 superbike. A limited edition machine (only 500 will be made) that commemorates the most iconic motorcycle ever to come from the Borgo Panigale factory, which sees this year being its 25th anniversary of going into production.

The new Panigale V4 model debuted today at the Laguna Seca WorldSBK round in California, and helping make that unveiling extra special was Carl Fogarty, who took the Ducati 916 Superbike to victory twice in the World Superbike Championship.

To go with its limited production run, Ducati has equipped the Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916 (which is based off the Panigale V4 S) with a bevy of special parts, which includes an Akrapovic exhaust, a dry clutch conversion, Panigale V4 R front frame, forged magnesium wheels from Marchesini, and other bits and bobs from the Ducati Performance catalog.