When Ducati revealed the 2023 Panigale V4 R last week, we raised an eyebrow when we saw its $44,995 price tag. As we noted in our First Look article, this exceed the price cap to be eligible for World Superbike racing. According to 2022 regulations, sport production machines were capped to a price of €40k, and the previous Panigale V4 R fit snugly below that price cap. The 2023 model, however, comes in at €43,990 in Ducati’s home market, Italy. We figured another shoe had to drop.
Marc Marquez currently leads the 2018 MotoGP championship but it was only a month ago in Argentina that the Repsol Honda rider had arguably his worst race in the premier class. While much of the post-race talk was about Marquez’s role in Valentino Rossi and Aleix Espargaro crashing out in two separate incidents, what happened to Marquez on the starting grid was somewhat overlooked. Here’s a reminder of what happened:
Shortly before our clan chieftain grabbed his Samsonite carry-on bag and blasted out the door for LAX, he took a moment to drop a line to myself and my esteemed colleague, J. Burns, the content of which caused a chorus of, “Oh no, not this again.” It concerned a proposed rule by our beloved National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concerning their current regulation, FMVSS No. 218, the regulation addressing U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards for motorcycle helmet testing. It seems NHTSA wants to revise their standard because they are concerned about “novelty” helmets.