Ducati and the Last V-Twin Superbike


Just one day after Ducati started teasing the final version of the Ducati 1299 Panigale, the first spy shots of its successor – the long-awaited V4 superbike – emerged.

Ducati teased that it will reveal the production version of the V-twin Panigale at the WSBK round at Laguna Seca a week ago, and it promises to be the culmination of all the lessons learned during the six-year-old model’s life.

We already know that the V-twin Panigale is set for the chopping block, to be replaced in 2018 by a new MotoGP-derived V4 superbike, but Ducati has also made clear it will still produce, sell and race the older V-twin in WSBK in 2018, giving it a year to work towards an R-spec version of the new V4.

Since it first appeared in late 2011, the Ducati Panigale has grown from the 1199 (1198cc) to the 1299 (1285cc) and spawned high-end derivatives including the homologation-special Panigale R – which remains 1198cc to fit the sub-1200cc race regulations – as well as two Superleggera models.

The latest Ducati Superleggera, with its carbon-fiber frame and an insanely high price, looked set to be the ultimate Panigale derivative, but the firm’s teaser line for the Laguna Seca reveal is ‘When the end tells the whole story,’ suggesting the V-twin launched there might just be the best and last...

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