Ducati is back in the Canadian Superbike series!

2022 Ducati Panigale V4 S. Photo: Ducati

Ducati is back in the Canadian Superbike, after many years without homologation in the race series.

According to Ducati’s press release, the Panigale V4, Panigale V4 R, and Panigale V4 S have all been homologated for use in CSBK from 2022-onwards (don’t expect to see one racing this weekend at Mosport, then!). The bikes are legal for both the Pro Superbike and Amateur Superbike classes.

Given CSBK’s tight regulations on horsepower and weight limits, how will the Italian racebikes fit into the rulebook? Here’s what the Ducati presser says:

The unique rule set applied to CSBK, whereby a superbike machine is permitted to race if it produces up to 200 rear wheel horsepower on the Official Series Dynojet dyno and weigh no less than 360 lb after finishing qualifying and racing. This will allow the admission of the Panigale V4 R as well as the larger 1103 cc V4 and V4 S into the championship.”

We haven’t heard any rumblings of teams moving to Ducati, but no doubt some keener is interested in racing a red bike next year. There are several top-shelf riders out there who could be front-row competitive if they had some factory help, and this could be the catalyst that moves the series forward. Already this year, Suzuki is looking like it’s about to make a comeback with Alex Dumas aboard; he’s potentially a champ, if things go well at Mosport (with a triple-header that weekend, just about anything could go wrong, though). Maybe now is the time for another brand to enter, as things finally get interesting in the 1000 cc class, instead of the same-old Kawasaki-vs-BMW-vs-BMW racing?

Sounds like it. The press release says “With the increasingly competitive nature of the series and the passionate support from Canadian Ducatisti, the Bologna factory is ready to do battle in the series once again.

Although Ducati hasn’t had a homologated machine in CSBK since 2004 (run by Michael Taylor that year), it was definitely a powerful player before that. Marco Mancini, Frank Mrazek and David Fleming all competed aboard 750 SS and 900 SS models in the late 1970s. More recently, Pascal Picotte ran a Ducati 888 in the early ’90s, taking five CSBK wins over ’92 and ’93.

Ducati’s return is particularly good news for CSBK organizers, who have just gone through a couple of tough years, trying to race around COVID-19 regulations.

“We are very proud of our history in the Canadian Superbike Championship and Ducati is a global player whose participation in the series is very important to us,” said CSBK czar Colin Fraser at the end of the press release. “Our series dates back to 1978 and Ducati was a major player back then, and we strongly believe more manufacturers and competition is always better for everyone involved. There are many reasons people will choose a particular motorcycle, be it commercial loyalty, sponsor, shop or distributor affiliation, and I believe with Ducati’s success in Superbike competition across the world, it brings a new element to the CSBK Championship and increases the potential competitive choices for riders wishing to compete.”

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