The MotoGP preseason hasn’t gone according to plan in 2021 (surprise, surprise). Aside from postponing the U.S. and South American rounds, the organization had to cancel preseason testing in Malaysia due to COVID-19. To secure some preseason seat time and build morale among its six MotoGP riders, Ducati held a test day at Jerez Circuit in Spain. However, the company didn’t count on the results to be so favorable for its production superbike.
Preseason tests rarely function as marketing opportunities, but when the world’s best throw a leg over a Ducati Panigale V4S, it’s the perfect showcase. Jack Miller, Pecco Bagnaia, Johann Zarco, Jorge Martin, Enea Bastianini, and Luca Marina each rode the road-legal V4S during the two-day test. The best lap time achieved by the Pani was 1:43.3. That’s even more impressive when compared to the 1:41.1 lap time recorded by Ducati’s MotoGP GP21 bike.
The brand revealed its latest Bologna Bullet with a full presentation on February 9, 2020. Draped in red, the 2021 race bike retains many of the elements from the 2020 bike, including quite sizeable wings. The Panigale V4S sports much more modest winglets and retails for $28,695. That might sound like a hefty chunk of change but it’s nothing compared to the cost of a MotoGP prototype.
Despite the price discrepancy, the test proves that the Panigale platform benefits directly from MotoGP developments. The Desmosedici’s race DNA clearly trickles down the bikes on the showroom floor. Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali didn’t pass up the opportunity to remind us of that fact either.
“The Panigale are all stock bikes as you can buy on your local dealer, with additional accessories taken from the Ducati Performance accessory catalogue,” declared Domenicali in a social media post. “Most important are the racing exhaust and the raised footpegs kit. Some added a thumb rear brake. Then add talent and training!”
Yes, talent and training are pretty important as well. Of course, you can’t just buy a V4S and reel off 1:43s at Jerez. Whatever lap time you can achieve, though, should only be 2.2 seconds behind what you would get on the GP21, right?