It looks like the bike of the future and there are high expectations around its performances. The Panigale V4 replaces the 1299 V-twin concept which has reached the end of its development.
The V4 is the first 4 cylinder production machine created in Borgo Panigale - something completely different for the Italian company, but it still bears the unique style and soul of Ducati.
With a MotoGP-style frame and advanced electronics, the V4 is a real descendant of the Desmosedici.
In 2018 the V4S model has already competed in both the Italian National Trophy and the Chinese Superbike Championship, the last one won by Alessandro Valia onboard a Ducati V4.
With much delight for the British fans, Ducati test rider Michele Pirro made an appearance during the last BSB round at Brands Hatch with some demo laps on the much awaited V4R. We will finally see this model on the grids in 2019 both in BSB and World Superbike Championship (with Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista).
In a few weeks though, the V4 will make its International Road Race debut at the Macau Grand Prix. The first ever 4 cylinders Ducati will show itself in all its beauty on the Guia Circuit from the 15th to the 17th of November 2018. Reactive Parts' boss Steve Heneghan will ride the V4 for his 7th Chinese campaign.
Heneghan’s experience will be an added value to the performances of the new Ducati, the sole V4 in Macau alongside two Panigale V2.
Ducati has a strong background at the Chinese road race, starting from the first podium for the Italian company back in 1993, with Irish rider Mark Farmer finishing third onboard the 888 Oxford Ducati, behind Steve Hislop and Robert Dunlop. Roger Bennett, then, brought the beautiful Reve RedBull 996 to second place in 2001, while the maiden Ducati win in Macau dates 2002 with Michael Rutter on the 998 Renegade.
“The Blade” Rutter doubled the following year with the same bike, while John McGuinness brought a 999 Monstermob Ducati to second place. 2004 saw two Ducati riders again on the podium, with McGuinness in second and Stuart Easton in third place, both for the Monstermob Team.
Then a gap until 2008 when Michael Rutter gained a second place with the 1098 North West 200 Ducati and was second again two years later onboard the 1098 Riders Motorcycles.
In 2011 “The King of Macau” Rutter scored a win for the Yeovil Team with teammate Martin Jessopp finishing second. A brand new 1198 finished second one year later with Jessopp himself, still for his team Riders Motorcycles.
A hard time, then, started for the Italian company at the Guia Circuit: Ducati fans had to wait until 2017 to see another Borgo Panigale’s machine at the top in China, when Northern Irish rider Glenn Irwin won a 5-laps race with the PBM Panigale, finally interrupting a BMW supremacy.
We are really looking forward now to the V4 debut in Macau with the Reactive Parts Team making history.