Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) was the absolute dominator of the Lenovo Race of Champions, the highly anticipated appointment of the World Ducati Week, which saw Ducati riders competing in the MotoGP, Superbike and Supersport Championships this afternoon go up against each other in a one-off extraordinary race at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”.
First already at the end of the free practice session, ahead of Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and Michele Pirro (Ducati Lenovo Team), Bagnaia then continued his domination in the only official timed session, taking pole position in 1m36.086s and again ahead of Bezzecchi, second only at 77/1000ths, closely followed by Pirro in third.
The Ducati Lenovo Team rider was also the undisputed star of the race. Taking the lead immediately at the start, Pecco remained in the lead throughout all the scheduled 8 laps, also setting the fastest lap in 1m35.886s. The Mooney VR46 Racing Team riders Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi completed an all-MotoGP podium, finishing the race in second and third place respectively.
In addition to the 15 riders on Ducati Panigale V4 S machines, the Lenovo Race of Champions race also saw 5 Panigale V2s take part in the competition. The winner of the V2 category was the Italian rider Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing), ahead of Nicholas Spinelli (Barni Spark Racing Team) who finished, and of the Austrian rider Maximilian Kofler (CM Racing), third.
Claudio Domenicali (CEO of Ducati Motor Holding): "It was really exciting to see all the Ducati riders compete against each other in the Lenovo Race of Champions. It is a unique race of its kind, a dream that becomes a reality for me, as I believe for all the Ducatisti present today at Misano or who followed us live from home. Today almost all the riders use the Panigale V4 as a training bike and therefore have a good feeling with it and they help us with their indications to always improve it. Seeing Pecco Bagnaia lap Misano on the Panigale V4 S in 1m35.8s, just 2 and a half seconds more than the time from this year's Superbike pole position at Misano, with totally standard bikes apart from slick tires and racing exhaust, is the best demonstration of the continuous evolution work done on this bike, and an even more exceptional result considering the extreme temperatures in which the race took place. Congratulations to Pecco, but also to Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi who finished the race on the podium, and then to all the others who pushed hard, doing a great race and giving us a lot of fun. Congratulations also to Federico Caricasulo who won the Panigale V2 category”.
Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team #63) - 1st (V4 Category): “I really had a lot of fun this afternoon. Having been able to compete in front of all the crowd of Ducatisti was exciting and motivated me to push hard to be able to offer them a unique show. Of course, winning always gives you a lot of pleasure! It was great and I thank all the fans for their warmth and the passion they transmit to us! "
Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing #64) - 1st (V2 Category): “It was a really nice and fun race. Spinelli and I overtook each other many times, but in the end I managed to get the better of him in the sprint to the finish line. We lapped really fast, just over a second from the pace of a world championship race. These are really incredible lap times when we think that we competed with a production bike! Thanks to all the Ducatisti for coming to cheer us on today! ".