Reigning World Superbike champion Carlos Checa got his first opportunity to test the Ducati 1199 Panigale at Misano during World Ducati Week.
Checa tweeted that he "had a good feeling on the bike", but that was as far as he went with comments on his first ride on the 1199.
Althea Racing Ducati’s Carlos Checa ran some laps aboard what appears to be a Superstock-spec 1199 Panigale at Misano during the opening day of the annual World Ducati Week festival. The Spaniard tweeted that “I had a good feeling on the bike”, but that was as far as he went on his experience. He will reportedly continue to do some testing during WDW, since the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli facility will be in Ducati’s hands for the full weekend as it will host the majority of festivities for the company’s yearly celebration for desmo enthusiasts.
Conditions at Misano are said to be oppressively hot (an observation confirmed by Checa in his tweet: “Today it’s really hot at Misano”), and naturally media interest is rampant at Checa’s lap times on the 1199, especially since the World Superbike circus recently visited a few weeks ago. It’s unknown whether he will be running anything that could be considered a prototype spec for the WSBK series next year, when Ducati says that it will submit the 1199 Panigale for homologation in that racing series. But it’s clear from these photos that Checa is running on treaded street-legal tires, so any comparisons to his WSBK times in this spec should be taken with a huge grain of salt.
The 1199 Panigale in FIM Superstock spec is already showing to be a potent force, with Lorenzo Savadori already taking victory at the Monza round aboard his Barni Racing Team Italia Ducati. Savadori and teammate Eddi La Marra are currently second and third in the championship standings.