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Ducati’s Narrow-Head Engine Ups the Ante in Superbike Racing

With Ducati Corse riders Troy Bayliss and Ben Bostrom each easily circulating the Valencia Circuit in times faster than the pole time at this year’s WSB round, Ducati revealed to the world the potency of it’s new narrow-head superbike motor during testing two weeks ago.

The newly-homologated 996R contains the new engine and a slightly revised fairing (with a lower coefficient of drag). In tests at Valencia, both Bayliss and Bostrom loved the new setup. Expected to produce at least 178 horsepower in Superbike tune, these early tests had both riders ecstatic about the new motor – including its power and power delivery.

With decades of experience building V-Twins, Ducati is anxious to prove that Honda’s title-winning RC51 is second best. Whether Ducati’s trio of factory riders (which includes Ruben Xaus – absent from the Valencia tests due to an injury) can dethrone Honda and Colin Edwards next year in WSB remains to be seen, but it appears Ducati will provide these riders with the equipment they need to do the job.