The 1098 F08 superbike, which Ducati will be racing in World Superbikes in 2008, was unveiled during the 2007 World Ducati Week at Misano yesterday. Troy Bayliss put in a few demo laps on the new bike, which is still in the development stage, at the Misano circuit.
Says Troy, 'I just saw the new 1098 for the first time yesterday. It looks and feels good and although it clearly doesn't feel like home after a couple of laps, I'm sure Ducati are moving in the right direction and it will be soon! I've still got a few things to concentrate on at the moment, like winning this year's title, but I'm really looking forward to testing the bike at a quieter moment in the future.'
Ducati have been racing the 999R in World Superbikes this year, but that will make way for the 1098 F08 in 2008. In keeping with new FIM regulations for 2008, we suppose the bike's engine capacity would be upped to 1200cc, but Ducati will have to run it in a lower state of tune (as compared to the 999R) and make do with standard con-rods, crankshaft and rocker arms.
Compared to 1000cc four-cylinder Japanese machines, the 1200cc Ducati twins will also have a slightly higher minimum weight limit and will have to run air restrictors. Rather confusingly, the FIM say that 'both these handicaps may change during the season depending on performance.' We still think the 2008 World Superbikes scene will be dominated by Ducati...
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