New WorldSBK contender hinted for the 2019 season.
Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali has confirmed the company is considering releasing a V4 motor in a next-gen superbike, which could be introduced ahead of 2019 according to news coming out of this week’s MotoGP team launch.
The Italian powerhouse has a rich history of twin-cylinder superbikes, however with its MotoGP operation firmly focused upon its impressive V4 engine configuration, a superbike-based variant has become an option.
“The engine development we have made in MotoGP has been exceptional,” Domenicali told Motomatters.com. “We have an engine which is very reliable, very light, compact and has a lot of interesting technology. We are seriously thinking of introducing it to regular customers as it is a masterpiece of engineering.”
Ducati previously released a Desmosedici RR in 2006 equipped with a V4 motor, albeit in limited quantities and with the price tag of a MotoGP-inspired race replica. It’s expected the superbike discussed would be closer in price to the current top-level Panigale.
While rumours of a V4 Honda Fireblade have existed since Honda discontinued the RC45 racer in 1999, Aprilia is the only other manufacturer currently using that engine format in production sportsbikes.