Author: Bike Social Sports Reporter Posted: 15 Apr 2014
Ducati could be able to compete for top results in the 2014 British Superbike Championship after the series’ controlling body, the MCRCB has announced a special dispensation for the twin-cylinder machines to be able to use pistons from the 1199 Superleggera model released this year.
Despite being a name synonymous with success in superbike racing, with both World and British accolades to its name, a Ducati has not won a British Superbike race since 2010. In fact, the Italian manufacturer hasn’t even been on the podium since 2011. The Panigale 1199 introduced in 2012 has struggled in a number of race series. The bike’s best result in British Superbikes is a mere seventh place.
Millsport Ducati will run the sole Ducati entry in the British Superbike class this year with support from Ducati experts MotoRapido, who have been helping the squad test the proposed part change in pre-season. Aboard the Panigale is Czech man Jakub Smrz, who has a wealth of experience with the Italian factory from World Superbike championship.
The results in testing were clear: Smrz set the third fastest time at Donington and was topping sessions to finish second overall at the Snetterton test so the Superleggera piston clearly has an effect in making the Panigale more competitive in comparison to the inline four machines.
Manufacturer-specific dispensations are not unusual in the series, both Yamaha and Honda have had dispensations approved in this new era of British Superbikes in order to maintain a competitive field.
As a result of the change, Ducati will face a reduced rev limit of 250rpm above the standard street limit. The rule will be reviewed again after the first three rounds of the championship.
Can Kuba Smrz take Ducati to the top in 2014?