Du­cati V4 road bike con­firmed

Top boss re­veals plans for sports­bike rev­o­lu­tion

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Richard New­land

‘It will not be ex­otic like the Desmo, but a more reg­u­lar high­end sports­bike’ CLAU­DIO DOMENICALI

‘Icon­firm Du­cati is work­ing on a four-cylin­der en­gine pro­ject for road bike that we should be able to present in two to three years’ time,” said Du­cati CEO Clau­dio Domenicali last week. He was speak­ing at the firm’s race team press con­fer­ence, con­firm­ing that tech­nol­ogy from the new gen­er­a­tion of Mo­togp bike will be trick­ling down to their road-go­ing su­per­bikes. There are also huge ram­i­fi­ca­tions for the World Su­per­bike team, which will also get the new four-cylin­der bike for 2019. When Domenicali says “four-cylin­der”, he means a V4, and it seems prob­a­ble that the ca­pac­ity will be dif­fer­ent for road and track, as it is now within the Pani­gale range.

While he wouldn’t put a fi­nite time­frame on the pro­ject, WSB rac­ing boss Paolo Ci­a­batti con­firmed that the V-twin Pani­gale would con­tinue to be de­vel­oped for the next two years be­fore be­ing re­placed. “We will race with the Pani­gale for 2017 and 2018, so ob­vi­ously we will keep de­vel­op­ing the en­gine to be com­pet­i­tive,” he said.

The birth of a main­stream V4 road­go­ing Du­cati su­per­bike has been on the cards ever since the firm stunned the world with the Des­mosedici D16RR in 2007, but while the mar­ket (and Du­cati) wasn’t right for the pro­ject a decade ago – be­yond be­ing a su­per-high-end cu­rios­ity – the tim­ing feels right for 2019. With the Pani­gale’s Su­perquadro al­ready push­ing the bound­aries of what a V-twin can achieve within Su­per­bike reg­u­la­tions, it’s also the right time from an en­gi­neer­ing per­spec­tive.

“The com­pany is a solid com­pany now, a grow­ing, prof­itable, cash­pos­i­tive com­pany that can sus­tain the in­vest­ment,” said Domenicali. “Ev­ery­thing we de­velop in rac­ing can have a fall­out in pro­duc­tion bikes.” En­gine and elec­tron­ics tech­nol­ogy are per­haps the zenith of that, but Domenicali also cred­its the de­vel­op­ment of ‘wings’ in Mo­togp as a se­ri­ous ben­e­fit: “It was su­per-use­ful. The bikes were much more sta­ble with more load on the front, much safer. This is banned now [in Mo­togp], but we have very in­no­va­tive and creative peo­ple here, and there is a lot of de­vel­op­ment of tech­nolo­gies here, and that will be very in­ter­est­ing for the de­vel­op­ment of fu­ture Du­catis.

“The en­gine de­vel­op­ment that we have made in Mo­togp is ex­cep­tional – we have an en­gine that is very light, very re­li­able, and with a lot of very in­ter­est­ing tech­nol­ogy. We are se­ri­ously think­ing about mak­ing that avail­able to reg­u­lar cus­tomers be­cause it is re­ally a mas­ter­piece of en­gi­neer­ing – of course trans­lated into some­thing that can be sold at a rea­son­able, but pre­mium, price – so it will not be ex­otic like the Des­mosedici, but a more reg­u­lar high­end sports­bike. I can­not say when this will hap­pen, but it is much closer. We would ab­so­lutely race this in WSB.”

MCN un­der­stands this will re­sult in a 1000cc V4 for su­per­bike rac­ing, while the road-go­ing fam­ily will al­most cer­tainly be split into the ho­molo­ga­tion R ver­sion, and big­ger ca­pac­ity stan­dard and S mod­els– pos­si­bly re­sult­ing in a 1200cc V4. We ex­pect to see the new road bike un­veiled dur­ing 2018, to ar­rive as a 2019 model, co­in­cid­ing with the firm rac­ing the V4 in Su­per­bikes.

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