The World Championship's traditional opening event at Phillip Island will see the début of the Panigale V4 R , used this season not only by the official team Aruba.it Racing - Ducati but also by the Barni Racing Team and – for its first time with Ducati – Team Go Eleven.
After the conclusion of the winter testing phase at the end of January, the bikes and the materials were crated and shipped to Australia where the first of the 13 scheduled events will take place next weekend.
The new weapon in Ducati's arsenal has shown good potential from the get-go, but it will not be easy to face every race starting from zero or almost with a completely new bike. But this hurdle does not scare either Chaz Davies or the newcomer Alvaro Bautista, who say they are optimistic and confident given the project's solid foundations.
Others having the honour of racing on the Panigale V4 R are Michael Rinaldi, who after a year of apprenticeship with the Aruba.it Racing - Junior team will compete with the Barni Racing Team, and Eugene Laverty, who at the last minute reached an agreement with Team Go Eleven and therefore this season will ride a Ducati motorcycle.
Raise your hand if you've never dreamed of doing a few laps at Phillip Island. The Australi an track is recognised by all as one of the most beautiful tracks in the world, and not only for its spectacular scenery. Positioned close to the ocean, the track offers a very smooth ride. Pacing and corners are the secrets to a good performance, without forgetting that on this track average speeds are very high and therefore also the power of the engine is required.
Ducati has earned 23 victories on this track, six of them by Troy Bayliss, the last in 2008. And in Australia we'll find Troy Bayliss once again, this time riding in the Superbike championship with a brand new Panigale V4 R .
For the many local Ducatistas who will flock to the Australian circuit and those watching from home it's just one more reason not to miss this first round of the 2019 season, all screaming #ForzaDucati!