The WorldSSP standings leader got his first taste of WorldSBK action at Jerez on the V4 R and has explained the differences between the V2 and V4 R machines
The break in the calendar has been useful for Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) as he got his hands on some MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship machinery for the first time in a test at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto. Racking up over 100 laps on the Ducati Panigale V4 R, Bulega was able to understand the differences between the Panigale V2 he races in WorldSSP and the Panigale V4 R which is leading the WorldSBK standings in the hands of Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
Bulega is leading the WorldSSP standings after two rounds and four races of the 2023 season, having won both races at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Australia and finishing fifth and third in Race 1 and Race 2 respectively at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit. The Italian leads compatriot Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) by 18 points after the first two rounds of the season and outlined his WorldSBK ambitions should he take the WorldSSP title this season.
Using the break between the Indonesian and Dutch Rounds, Bulega was able to test the V4 R at the Circuito de Jerez and he racked up more than 100 laps on the WorldSBK-spec machine. It was his first time trying the Ducati WorldSBK machine as he focuses on his WorldSSP campaign but, in an interview, Bulega was able to explain the main differences between the two machines including how he feels the V4 R would need to be trained for differently.
Discussing the differences, Bulega said: “The first day was just to understand the character of the bike because it was very different from my usual V2. The V4, I think, has nearly 100 horsepower more. For sure, the power of the bike was completely different and also the chassis because the V4 is a little bit different from the V2. The weight is also different because the V4 is a little bit heavier than the V2. I understand that I have to train a little bit differently because the V4 needs a different training. It was good.”
Bulega completed more than 100 laps during the test as he got acquainted with the V4 R for the first time in Spain at Jerez, a circuit he has not raced at in WorldSSP but has experience at from his time in Moto3™ and Moto2™. It provided him with a solid starting point given his knowledge of the circuit from his time in the MotoGP™ paddock for his first test on WorldSBK machinery and he used this knowledge throughout the day as he adjusted to the V4 R.
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