Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ducati get off to a flying start in WSBK, 1098R-based 1098 F08 is the bike to beat this season!

With the 1098R-based 1098 F08 WSBK racer, Ducati are back to their winning ways...

In the very first World Superbikes race of the season – at the Losail circuit in Qatar – the 2008 Ducati 1098 F08 WSBK racebike has sent a clear warning signal to the Japanese factories. The 1098 F08 took the first two places (Troy Bayliss, Max Biaggi) in the first race, and second and third places (Ruben Xaus, Max Biaggi) in the second race. What a way to start the season for Ducati!

Based on the US$47,000 homologation-special Ducati 1098R, the 1098 F08 racer is fitted with an 8-stage traction control system, and suspension, brakes, wheels, and slipper clutch from Ducati’s GP7 MotoGP machine. Controlled by sophisticated electronics, the 180-horsepower L-Twin Testastretta Evoluzione engine is mated to Ducati’s trellis frame, and as is apparent from the results, the 165kg package works very well indeed.

Ducati claim that the 1098R is the ‘most advanced, most powerful twin-cylinder motorcycle ever built, with the highest torque-to-weight ratio in the sportsbike category,’ and that is probably true. In 2009, we’ll perhaps be ready to see what the KTM RC8 can do, but till then (and maybe even after that…), the 1098R is certainly the king of twin-cylinder sportsbikes.

Couldn't get your hands on the Desmosedici RR? The 1098R is your best bet now

Like its even more expensive cousin – the US$100,000 Desmosedici RR – the 1098R also gets a healthy dose of MotoGP-tech. Apart from the advanced, race-spec traction control system, there’s the MotoGP-inspired digital instrumentation, the Ducati Data Analyser (DDA) system, the Brembo Monobloc brakes, and the best, most tunable suspension that Ohlins can make.

With the Ducati-supplied race kit (carbonfibre Termignoni exhaust, different ECU) fitted, the 1098R makes 186bhp – which should be just about enough for running down to the shops for a six-pack of beer. And on weekends, for winning a WSBK championship or two. Yeah, well, this is one Ducati you’ve got to love…

Also see:
KTM RC8 riding impression...
MotoGP: Casey Stoner wins BMW Z4 M Roadster!
The next step, after you've bought your MV Agusta F4 or Ducati 1098...
Memorable: The Muzzy Kawasaki Raptor 850!
New Moto Morini 1200 Sport and Scrambler shown...
Kawasaki to gun for the MotoGP world title in 2009!
Michael Scott: An interview with The Doctor

External links:
2008 Daytona Bike Week preview
Cycle World: An interview with Nicky Hayden
Gemma Atkinson - Official Calendar 2008!

From left: Wayne Rainey and Eddie Lawson, two of the greatest racers ever in the 500cc GP era. Read about their bikes here: the Yamaha YZR500 and the Honda NSR500
Eddie Lawson pic: PB mag forum

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