Racing – Ducati launches race-spec Panigale V4 R

Official team presentation takes place at Ponte San Pietro.

Image: Supplied. Racing – Ducati has officially launched its team for the 2019 FIM Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), showcasing the Panigale V4 Rs that will be piloted by Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista in a team presentation in Ponte San Pietro, Italy.

There are two major changes for the Italian squad regarding both the bike and the riders, as it lines up for the 32nd season of world Superbike racing with the all-new Panigale V4 R, while former MotoGP talent Bautista joins the outfit alongside regular Davies.

“I can’t wait to start this new adventure,” Bautista stated. “The balance of the winter tests is really positive. The project is a new one and there’s still a lot of work to be done but lap after lap we found a good base to work on.

“I still have to adapt to this new technical situation, particularly the tyres, but the performance shown in just six days of testing is undoubtedly encouraging. Phillip Island is a spectacular track and I’ve always liked it, there couldn’t be a better place to begin this exciting new adventure and we’ll do our best to be ready.”

Davies added: “I’m very excited and motivated about the season that’s about to start. After five years and many great memories with the twin-cylinder bike, the time has come to begin a new challenge and I can’t wait to get back on track with the Panigale V4 R.

“My last tests were hampered a bit by the twinge I felt in my back, but my overall physical condition is much better than last year and in any case we managed to complete our test schedule. We’ve still got two more days of testing left and they will be fundamental to define the last details, and then finally we’ll be racing again.

“The start of the year is going to be even more exciting than ever, and having a new bike – as well as a new team-mate – is going to be extra motivation for me.”

Phillip Island will host an official test on 18-19 February, which takes place days prior to the season-opener at the iconic Australian venue, scheduled for 22-24 February.


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