Ever wondered how close your road bike is to a factory race machine? Or thought that you could be a winner by adding some sticky tyres? Normally that might lead to a track day or club racing. But a production Ducati 1299 Superleggera has taken a podium in the Chinese Pan Delta Series.
Official Ducati test rider Alessandro Valia was competing against a variety of World Superbike spec bikes and riders at the Chinese circuit of Zhuhai. Although the Pan Delta series has an Open B class for stock bikes, it was decided to race in the unrestricted Open A competition.
Valia managed to post the third fastest qualifying time. And was able to finish Race 1 on the podium by maintaining that position. Not bad for a wild card rider on a production bike. He might have done even better when wet weather arrived, but due to the heavy rain the second race of the day had to be cancelled.
“I am really satisfied with the result in Race 1 because even though the bike is completely street-legal I managed to keep the same pace as riders coming from WSBK and MotoGP that were using WSBK-spec bikes,” said Valia. “It’s a real shame that Race 2 was cancelled due to rain because during free practice we raced under very similar conditions and I was faster than anybody else. For sure we would have had another great race.”
As the official Ducati 1299 Superleggera test rider, Valia competed in the colours of the CER Ducati Hong Kong team who have raced in the series for the last three years.
The Ducati 1299 Superleggera:
It’s worth pointing out Valia wasn’t exactly racing your average showroom sportsbike. The Ducati 1299 Superleggera puts out 215bhp, weighs just 167kg, and costs £72,000. And you can’t buy a new one because the 500 made were sold out before it was even revealed to the public.
The goodies list could go on for a while, but the Superleggera has a carbon fibre monocoque frame, wheels and swingarm, an aluminium petrol tank, more carbon fibre for the fairing, a full electronics control package including traction, slide, power launch and brakes, a quickshifter, Bosch cornering ABS system, multi-adjustable Ohlins FL936 inverted forks lighter than those on the Panigale R, an Ohlins TTX36 rear shock with a titanium spring, and 330mm Brembo brake discs with Brembo M50 monobloc calipers.
That’s before adding the race kit which includes a titanium Akrapovic race exhaust, screen, plate holder and kickstand removal kits, billet mirror plugs, and some handy paddock stands for the pit crew.
So it’s not quite like taking your 4-year-old superbike out at the weekend to beat Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies.
If you did happen to be one of the lucky few to order the limited edition and beautiful Ducati, you should get the chance to try it soon. The most powerful factory twin-cylinder ever built is now in production, so deliveries will begin shortly.