Ducati 1299 Superleggera: a production motorcycle on the podium among the Superbikes Zhuhai (China), 21 March 2017
- A few days after the delivery of the first 1299 Superleggera motorcycles, the new, exclusive, technological jewel "made in Borgo Panigale" has achieved a fantastic result, participating in a Superbike qualification run at the "Pan Delta Series" in China.
A production motorcycle, ridden on the track by the official Ducati test rider Alessandro Valia, raced against internationally renowned WSBK-spec bikes and riders on the Chinese circuit of Zhuhai and achieved the podium in Race 1. Unfortunately the heavy rain pouring down on the track made it impossible to proceed with Race 2, precluding another exceptional result for rider and motorcycle that together had, lap after lap, felt increasingly comfortable on the Chinese racetrack.
Valia immediately found his groove on the course, constantly improving his lap time and achieving the third fastest time in the starting grid. Thanks to an impeccable race, the 1299 Superleggera was able to cross the finish line in third place. Valia raced as a "Wild Card" wearing the colours of the CER - Ducati Hong Kong racing team, which has been competing in this Championship for the last three years.
The motorcycle enrolled in the Chinese Superbike competition (closely followed by the public and the media) was street-legal model, challenging motorcycles specially configured with the technical specifications allowed by WSBK regulations. The "Pan Delta Series" is divided into two classes of competition: the "Open A" , where there are no restrictions in terms of modifications, and the "Open B" class, in which only stock bikes can participate. Ducati decided to enroll the 1299 Superleggera in the Open A class to prove its racing capability. Alessandro Valia (Ducati wild card # 8) - 3rd "I am really satisfied with the result in Race 1 because even though the bike is completely street-legal I managed to keep the same pace as riders coming from WSBK and MotoGP that were using WSBK-spec bikes.
My feeling with this track had been improving minute after minute that I spent on it and in fact, in spite of identical weather conditions as during Superpole, my best lap during the race one was faster that my qualifying one.
Race 1 was beautiful and the result achieved is important. Reaching the top three in a race of this level confirms the great value and enormous potential of this fantastic bike. It's a real shame that Race 2 was cancelled due to rain because during free practice we raced under very similar conditions and I was faster than anybody else. For sure we would have had another great race.
The balance of the 1299 Superleggera, its easy handling and its outstanding performance make it possible to go really fast, and the standard electronics on the bike guarantees safety even in extreme conditions. Today's race, a true challenge for this unique motorcycle, confirmed once again that the 1299 Superleggera is the street-legal motorcycle closest to the racing Superbikes.
As an official test rider of the 1299 Superleggera I am proud of the results of this experience in China. Special thanks to Pirelli for its invaluable support, to Engineer Giovanni Crupi of Ducati Corse who accompanied me and provided technical support in China during the race and in the days that led up to it, and thanks also to the CER - Ducati Hong Kong team that demonstrated passion and expertise, doing their part to make this result possible.
Last but not least, I was truly struck by the enthusiasm and the following that motorbikes have in China, in particular for the competitions, and especially for a brand like Ducati that has appeal and credibility. It's easy to see how much potential there is in this country where our bikes are increasingly emerging as icons of style and technology".
With the 1299 Superleggera, Ducati takes the world of road Supersport bikes to levels that were unheard of until now: the Superleggera is the first ever factory bike to be equipped with a carbon fibre frame, swingarm, subframe and wheels. The 1299 Superleggera is a gem of engineering, technology and performance. No motorcycle manufacturer has ever produced a factory bike quite like it, available in a limited edition of only 500 units.
And underneath that carbon fibre skin lies the highest-performing version of the Superquadro. Thanks to its 215 hp, the desmodromic engine on the 1299 Superleggera is the most powerful factory twin-cylinder ever built; it incorporates the ultimate levels of Ducati technology. The bikes, already sold or booked even before its official presentation at EICMA 2016, are currently in production and soon will begin to be delivered to the fortunate Ducatisti.