WSBK – WSBK Imola: The Ducati 1199 Panigale will roll unbridled – Used DUCATI

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WSBK Imola: The Ducati 1199 Panigale will roll unbridled

WSBK - WSBK Imola: The Ducati 1199 Panigale will roll unbridled - Used DUCATI

Ducati has not won in World Superbike for 13 races … This weekend, the championship stops at Imola, at the Tifosis. Free of its restriction on admission, will the 1199 Panigale be able to reach the Top 5 in the race? ?

Mystery and Pirelli Ball.

Ducati’s last World Superbike victory dates back to the French WSBK 2012 final, when Sylvain Guintoli won in the first round at the controls of the 1198 prepared by his adopted team Pata (read our).

Victory counter stuck at 313

But this masterly glove victory by our beloved Frenchie on a soggy track had been somewhat overshadowed by the formidable fight in the second round between Max Biaggi, Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri, all three in contention for the world title. !

Since then, the 1198 stamped with n ° 50 has become increasingly valuable since it is to date the last winning ticket held by Ducati. At the opening of the 2013 championship, however, the 1199 Panigale n ° 7 seemed in a position to win the day. In vain.

The tifosis who had bet big on Carlos Checa are still biting their fingers … The heavy fall of the Spaniard at the start of the first round had put an end to the hopes of punters, fans, the driver and his team (read our)

The 2011 World Champion’s Superpole in Australia in February therefore remains the most beautiful – and the only – achievement of the all-new Ducati Superbike. Since then, the beautiful Italian has failed to shine, both in qualifying and in the race.

Checa is doing much better

Fortunately for the faithful of the Borgo Panigale firm, there are three reasons to hope for – more – beautiful things from the Panigale, from this weekend. The first is on the side of Checa Himself, whose state of health finally seems satisfactory…

"The condition of my shoulder (damaged in Aragon, NDLR)is now good enough", informed the official Ducati rider last Friday,"not enough for rock climbing or swimming as it remains low at maximum extension, but it is not necessary for riding a motorcycle".

"I am confident enough", assured Carlos,"the long break and all the work I have done will allow me to be 100% ready for the testThe next event is scheduled this weekend at Imola, a circuit that the "Toro n ° 7" and Ducati particularly like. !

The stop on this "Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari" is the second reason for satisfaction for the red supporters: apart from the encouragement of the public, the route could be favorable to the Bologna Superbikes. The 1198 in any case has always driven very well there. !

Ducati drives home

Since returning to the WSBK calendar in 2009, Imola has always given pride of place to Ducati riders: as a reminder, Haga and Fabrizio took turns at the top of the podium in 2009, then Checa, Lanzi and Haga had signed a remarkable hat-trick in the first round in 2010 (Checa and Haga doubling the lead in second), and Checa – again him – had won once in 2011 and twice last year !

"I really like this track", confirms Carlos,"the layout is quite technical, with heavy braking, uneven and many chicanes. It is a stopover in a high place in the history of motorsports and there are always a lot of spectators, all its ingredients make it a superb event.".

But the celebration will only be complete if Ducati puts an end to its failure to win: already 13 races without any success, unheard of since 1989 according to historians! The Bologna brand has not even climbed a podium, nor even reached the Top 5 since the start of the season … The worst of the brand in 25 participations in the World Superbike.

This weekend therefore, the monocoque frame of the Panigale has an interest in behaving as well as the tubular trellis of its ancestor on the hilly route of Emilia-Romagna. This will eventually compensate for the power deficit of the 1200 cc twin-cylinder compared to the 1000 cc Japanese in-line 4-cylinder and Italian V4 (from Noale)..

A third factor should help the Reds find their colors again: due to its lack of success and in accordance with the – very very – technical regulations of the World Superbike, the "Superquadro" of the Panigale will be rid of its bridle upon admission as soon as this week-end !

Thus unbridled, the 1199 should follow more easily – lead? – its competitors in the stretches and reach the Top5, then the podium, then its highest step? "Before we win we’ll have to catch up on our rivals", procrastinates for the moment Checa.

The first target in the sights of Checa and his teammate Badovini is none other than Neukirchner, whose "Panigalé" n ° 27 (the third of the field) is prepared by MR Racing, while the n ° 7 and n ° 86 are by the Alstare team. The German driver appears in front of his two colleagues in the provisional classification !

"Well, it’s because I was in the points in each race, while the official drivers did not always reach the finish"," Mad Max "simply noted a week ago."We worked well and we are satisfied with that. But the results are mixed because I know we could do better"

The unbridled 1199 Panigale

Unsurprisingly, Max considers engine power to be his machine’s main handicap. But the German pilot also points the finger at the suspensions and electronics of his 1199. Points which should not cause concern to Checa and Badovini…

Indeed, "the main difference between the official team and ours is the electronics since we use a completely different system", Neukirchner remarks."On the other hand, we have not paid the € 80,000 rental for the suspensions and we use a fork before we bought € 8,000 ourselves.".

Equipped with the best of the best – and a full power engine! -, Carlos and Ayrton are eagerly awaited this weekend by the transalpine spectators. On our side of the Alps, the Superpole then the two Superbike races – as well as the Supersport one – will be as always to be followed almost directly on the Site. Stay connected !

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