Ducati's Zambenedetti confirms new rear suspension parts, cites BMW and Honda top speed strength
The Italian manufacturer have brought new components as they look to build on their strong start to the campaign
The two-day private test for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship field at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya gives teams and riders a chance to test new components ahead of the season resuming in the Netherlands in April, and Ducati have brought upgrades to the test as they look to continue their strong start to the season. During the first day of testing, Ducati Corse’s Technical Coordinator, Marco Zambenedetti, explained what the Ducati factory team will test in Spain.
The Panigale V4 R has won five of the first six races in the 2023 season but the search for improvements continues for all teams up and down the grid and Ducati are no exception to this as they look to retain the Riders’, Teams’ and Manufacturers’ Championships they won in 2022 with Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi. For 2023, the Bologna-based manufacturer introduced a new Panigale V4 R model and have started the campaign with five wins, all for Bautista, with the Spanish rider leading the Championship standings.
Despite their strong start to the campaign, Ducati have introduced new components to test in Spain with Zambenedetti outlining what these are and what the benefits will be for the Panigale V4 R. He said: “Here, we bring some new parts. Some of these parts are concentrated in the rear suspension with the target to achieve more grip and better stability. Apart from this, we have some development on the front to achieve faster entry to the corners. We need to test with both riders just to understand which is the direction for the development.”
Zambenedetti also outlined the programme Ducati will follow during the two-day test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. With the circuit traditionally hard on tyres and brakes, teams will use the test to prepare for the Catalunya Round specifically, but they will also be able to learn new things that could potentially help them throughout the 2023 campaign as they look to secure the best possible results.
Expanding on Ducati’s test, Zambenedetti said: “During this test, we would like to prepare for the round. We will test some new front and rear tyres that Pirelli has brought and that could be something interesting for the Superpole Race. In addition, we are quite happy about how the new bike has started in racing. Of course, we need to continue testing in order to explore more in-depth the new bike configuration to achieve the best. There are some differences and we need to gain the maximum possible. Especially because other competitors are still working. For example, we see on the engine or top speed, we see that BMW and Honda are, for sure, quite fast and sometimes more than us. For this reason, we need to continue to push in all areas with our technical suppliers and internal development staff.”
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