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Checa Immediately Fast on Panigale WSB Machine

Ducati Panigale 1199 RS13 introduced at INTERMOT.

In its first time on track with the WSB competition, the Ducati 1199 RS13 Panigale, piloted by Carlos Checa, was immediately quick.  The second day of testing at Aragon (there is one final day tomorrow) saw Checa less than one second off the blistering pace set by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) as the fastest lap. Checa, who has ridden the new bike just a couple of times prior to this test, has had surprising pace aboard a brand new motorcycle.

You will recall that Ducati chose to race the older 1198 last year, saving the Panigale for further race development. Some wondered whether Ducati had noticed a problem with the Panigale in race trim, resulting in a delay of its debut on the track. The Aragon test seems to completely eliminate that thought, as the new bike looks to be surprisingly competitive at this early stage.

Day 2 Testing at Aragon

1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’57″6 (52 laps)
2. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’57″8 (52)
3. Camier (Suzuki) 1’58″1 (60)
4. Laverty (Aprilia) 1’58″4 (68)
5. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 1’58″4 (70)
6. Checa (Ducati) 1’58″5 (60)
7. Baz (Kawasaki) 1’59″2 (51)
8. Giugliano (Ducati) 1’59″4 (37)
9. Waters (Suzuki) 2’00″2 (48)
10. Hofmann (Aprilia) 2’00″8 (50)

27 Comments

  1. Ricardo says:

    Awesome, I am lloking forward to the 2013 seasson with Checa on the Panigale. WSBK is the best show in racing today!!

  2. Vrooom says:

    I see Sykes taking the championship next year. A 1/2 point loss to Biagi must have been painful.

  3. duke888 says:

    The Ducati MotoGP frame is completely different than the WSBK bike. The MotoGP frame is a full perimeter frame whereas the superbike is using the engine as a stress member with CF subframes in the front and rear to mount the suspension systems and ancilliaries. It is similar in concept to the Britten of the 90′s.

  4. Superlight says:

    I’m tired of hearing the 4-cylinder fans complain about the displacement advantage given to twins. As history shows, it seems to work out pretty well for all concerned – twins are competitive and more brands are on-track. It’s basic physics, guys – HP varies directly with RPMs and all engines are limited by maximum piston speeds. With a longer stroke to reach the same displacement, twins cannot rev like triples and fours, so competitive HP would not be possible without a displacement bump.

  5. Gutterslob says:

    Nice bike, and pretty fitting to have Dracula posing with it.
    Wonder if the whole “frameless” direction they’re taking will succeed this time or go the way of the MotoGP bike, though.

    …and yes, Honda and everyone else need to build a 1200cc twin. The way WSBK rules have been going this past decade, it seems they modify it every other season for the twins to remain competitive (or regain the advantage, if you sit on that side of the argument), thus almost guaranteeing Ducati a championship once in two years.

    • Vrooom says:

      The bikes seem pretty competitive to me. After all Sykes was 1/2 a point off the championship with a Kawasaki this year. It probably had nothing to do with riders like Carl Fogarty and Troy Bayliss.

    • Mike says:

      As far as Honda building new twins to win WSBK my view is history shows they already failed at this ……after having 20 plus years to study the Ducati twins to design and introduce the best twin ever.

      If Mr. Honda was still alive we would not be talking about this………….but today Honda is a car company that many decisions are made by cost accountants and attorneys ……….a company whose worst fear of some rider being in a 200mph freeway chase in CA on national coverage……. that somehow might scare off Honda a few car buyers.
      After all Honda does not even feature motorcycles in most of their broad product offering advertisments……..but that slow selling business jet makes it every time.

      And exceptions noted………just how does Honda almost always seem to come in mid pack in most sport bike tests over the last 15 years. It takes real engineering to accomplish this with consistency year after year…….and again exceptions noted.

      Sadly Honda could build a competitive big twin………….dont expect it this decade……..they are too busy adding to their long list of bikes that do not sell.

  6. Kent says:

    IMO, trendy plastic/fiberglass/carbon fibre molding and fancy paint will never make for a “beautiful motorcycle.”

  7. OneWhoKnoas says:

    Blackcayman: That isn’t a street legal production bike in the photo, the RS13 is the Ducati Corse spec superbike that will be offered to privateer race teams.

    Customers will paint it in their own team livery anyhow.

  8. blackcayman says:

    This is the worst livery on a Ducati in memory. You can’t even see the beauty of the lines. They need a new desginer who isn’t color blind.

  9. drbyers says:

    I wish I could get my greedy little hands on one of these, but I’d go broke trying to replace any of the carbon fiber parts if they ever cracked…

  10. John says:

    Impressive, but puzzling. How can Ducati make their monocoque chassis work so well for WSBK but not for MotoGP?

    • Chris says:

      Tires. Weight. Power. Etc…

    • TDM850 says:

      This one test can’t be used as an indication of how well the Panigale will do in WSBK. Checa is almost a full second off the pace and the Guigliano is nearly 2 seconds off. Granted, I think that’s doing pretty well for a first test (with other machines on track), but it’s only one test, at one track. Either way, Ducati is all-in with this new frame on the street bike. I hope it works out, cuz it’s a cool idea.

      Thumbs up for Kawasaki and T Sykes! What a year – and what a comeback Team Green has made.

    • v says:

      Was it the frame(less) design that was the GP bikes problem? It might have been, but since it now has an aluminum frame and is still the slowest true MotoGP bike it wasn’t the only or even major problem. Personally, I feel that the problem lies with the 90 degree V angle (and the current bore/stroke limits) and its overall effects on the bikes geometry.

  11. endoman38 says:

    Honda needs to build an RVT1200R (bigger RC51.)

    • stinkywheels says:

      It wouldn’t even have to be bigger. I’ve only had short test rides on old RC, loved it. Bigger ain’t necessarily better.

    • Mike says:

      RC51……..a new ever bigger one………yuppp count me in on that……..haaaaaa. Looking forward to an even wider gas tank to seat multiple family members

      How about this instead for Honda ……….. a V5 600 and 1000 for street riders.

      Naaaaaaaaa………that might sell

  12. Henk says:

    I am a Ducati rider but this is not the bike i want.

    • Mike says:

      This race bike most likely costing over a million dollars each………..most of us will not have to worry if we “want” it or not!

      Exceptions noted

  13. Brinskee says:

    What a lovely machine. Le sigh.