Ducati launches new bike for 2019 WSBK season
Ducati has revealed its new bike for the 2019 World Superbike season, the Panigale V4 R.
After using its V2 Panigale R bike between 2013 and 2018, Ducati switches to the newly-developed V4 machinery for 2019.
Chaz Davies continues with the Italian team having finished as the runner-up in the points behind four-time world champion Jonathan Rea for the third time in four years in 2018.
"A lot to learn, like with every new bike. The base that we've got to work with is fantastic, really looking forward to the race season starting," said Davies during the launch.
"Very difficult to compare [with the previous Ducati], they are completely different. This bike feels more designed to be on the track, but at the same time, it is very rideable, friendly, confidence-inspiring."
Davies will be joined by a new teammate in Alvaro Bautista, as Marco Melandri switches over to the GRT Yamaha outfit.
Bautista joins WSBK after 17 seasons in the grand prix paddock, and nine in MotoGP.
Apart from the factory Ducati duo, two more riders will contest the 2019 season on Panigale V4 Rs, Michael Ruben Rinaldi with Barni Racing and Eugene Laverty with Team GoEleven.
Ducati had a relatively low-key start to the season in the Jerez and Portimao tests. While Bautista was fourth and third, his deficits to the benchmark time were 0.460s and 1.079s respectively.
Melandri: Yamaha not "responding" to my riding style
Bautista: Ducati V4 still "too immature" to win
Garrett Gerloff has explained his motivation behind leaving the Yamaha World Superbike camp to accept an offer to join the Bonovo BMW team in 2023.
Iker Lecuona has expressed his frustration that tyre longevity issues prevented him from capitalising on Honda’s first World Superbike pole position in six years last weekend at Barcelona.
Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu remain defiant about their World Superbike title hopes despite conceding more ground in the championship to a dominant Alvaro Bautista last weekend at Barcelona.
Alvaro Bautista made it a hat-trick of World Superbike victories on home turf at Barcelona with an imperious ride to his 11th win of the season in Sunday's finale.