At EICMA 2023, Ducati celebrated the 30th birthday of its iconic 916 in the only way Ducati knows how – with a limited edition model. Say hello to the Panigale V4 SP2 30° Anniversario 916. Only 500 of these will be made, with each receiving a numbered plate on the triple clamp.
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.
In a move further supporting my argument that R1s are purpose-built racebikes with lights and mirrors to make them legal on the roads, for 2023 Yamaha is introducing the R1 GYTR – an R1 prepared specifically for track duty, without any of the homologation pieces for roadworthiness (don’t worry, the standard R1 isn’t going anywhere). Yamaha similarly does the same thing with the R6, offering it for sale exclusively as a track-only model.
Pirelli recently introduced the Diablo Rosso IV, the fourth generation of the popular tire intended for spirited road riders who also may find themselves attending the odd trackday here or there. By now, sport riders all over the world are likely familiar with the name Diablo – and they are certainly familiar with the name Pirelli – but that all had to start somewhere.
I know we’re supposed to remain neutral as motojournalists, but we’re people too, and when it comes to protective gear that could potentially save life or limb, when you find something you really like it’s hard to let it go. Such is my case with roadracing boots. I’ve tried a lot, and there are many good ones, but the boot I always come back to is the Supertech R from Alpinestars. When I’m wearing them it feels like I’m wearing my favorite pair of sneakers – that also happens to be able to protect my feet and ankles if I were to get separated from a motorcycle at ridiculous speeds.
Kawasaki’s much anticipated, and heavily revised, ZX-10R has finally been announced, and it’s bringing along its race-bred sibling in the ZX-10RR, too. Rumors about an updated ZX-10R had been swirling about for some time, and armchair warriors really went crazy once early pictures were released from Australia. Buzz really started swirling last week, when the Kawasaki World Superbike team took part in the championship’s winter test, revealing the 2021 ZX-10RR in full race trim.
With the World Superbike championship set to resume again this weekend in Jerez, after a long Coronavirus-induced break since the season opener at Philip Island in February, BMW felt it necessary to tell everyone how it was spending its time in lockdown – and it’s pretty fascinating.
Does Kevin Cameron still have to change tires? I mean, riding your choice of the latest bikes to Laguna Seca for World Superbike weekend, followed by a Pirelli-sponsored track day Monday, is a dream come true for any motorcycle person, but maybe you don’t want to see how the MO sausage is made. Pirelli wanted us to mount up its new Supercorsa TD (Track Day) tires ahead of time, and they drop-shipped me two sets. Two sets because when Troy couldn’t make the ride this year, I volunteered my son Ryan to ride the Ducati Supersport in his place. Ryan was, to say the least, excited.
Way back in 1957, after the legendary road races of Pebble Beach outgrew local streets, businesses and residents of Monterey County pooled their money together to build a new racetrack. Today, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is a stunning facility that offers a variety of world-class events for racing fans of any segment. Since the first race at the facility in November 1957, race fans and their families from all corners have come to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. This July, the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship comes to Monterey County, and it’s your only chance to see these incredible machines in the United States this year.
Despite the fact Ducati has hit it big with the Panigale V4R this year, racking up numerous World Superbike victories with Alvaro Bautista (and, let’s be honest, likely the 2019 WSBK title), it appears as though Ducati isn’t done with the Panigale V4, as these spy photos Motorcycle.com has received would indicate.
In the world of motorcycle racing, the number 69 is synonymous with one person: Nicky Hayden. “The Kentucky Kid” left an indelible mark on this sport, punctuated by his 2006 MotoGP championship, which earned him MotoGP “Legend” status upon his departure to World Superbike at the end of 2015. As a tribute to the late, great champion, Dorna will retire the number 69 from premier Grand Prix racing at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, ensuring the number and the man will forever be linked.
Niccolò Canepa is a bit of a journeyman in the racing scene. With stints in both MotoGP, Moto2, World Superbike, Superstock 1000, and Supersport 600, the Italian has now found a home in the Endurance World Championship, where he’s riding the factory GMT94 Yamaha R1. In this video, you can see why Canepa has raced in virtually all of the top-tier classes the world has to offer. In this practice session for the Suzuka 8 Hours, Canepa takes you on board as he slices and dices his way past lesser riders – all of whom would likely smoke the biggest hotshot at your local trackday.
Not many of the kids racing World Superbike and MotoAmerica last weekend were born the first time I went to Laguna Seca in 1988 for the return of Grand Prix motorcycle racing in the USA. Eddie Lawson won that one. Wayne Rainey had taken pole position and finished fourth, ahead of Kevin Schwantz in fifth. Mike Baldwin finished tenth to make it 40% Americans in the top ten. Meanwhile in the 250s (what would be Moto2 today but much cooler because two-strokes), Arkansas’ own John Kocinski took the 250 pole, while fellow American Jimmy Filice took the storybook win in the race. Long story short, Americans from Kenny Roberts on dominated top-level road racing.