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Incoming! Ducati 959 Panigale Corse | Manufacture News | News

Up-spec middleweight Panigale set to join Ducati’s 2018 stable

Ducati is set to add a Corse version that will go on sale alongside the 959 Panigale in 2018.

The new bike hasn’t been officially announced, but its name has emerged on emissions certification documents in America.

The EPA document reveals that it will have the same engine spec as the 959 Panigale, with a claimed 111kW. That figure is an odd one – it matches neither the official US-spec 959 Panigale power claim of 115.5kW nor the rest-of-the-world model, which claims 110kW thanks to its more restrictive exhaust. But previous emissions documents show that the 2017-spec American 959 is also homologated at 111kW, at odds with the official claimed figure but suggesting the 2018 bike will have the same output as the current one.

While the emissions document gives no clues as to what will differentiate it from the standard model, Ducati’s past does. Previous bikes, including the 1198 and the 848 Evo, have been offered in Corse spec before.

Those bikes included an aluminium tank borrowed from the R model, plus high-spec Öhlins suspension. Both would be useful additions to the 959 Panigale, which is currently available only in base spec, with Showa forks and a Sachs shock. There’s no S model or R version in the range to offer higher-end kit.

Earlier Corse models have usually featured distinctive red, black and white graphics, which are again likely to appear on the 959 Panigale.

On Euro 4-legal versions, we can also expect to see the bike adopt the twin, high-level exhaust layout of the 1299 Superleggera and 1299 Final Edition, to replace the ugly oversized side-mounted cans of the current model.

While the larger 1299 Panigale will remain on sale in 2018, that will be its last year. It is being superseded by the new V4-engined superbike, which is expected to be revealed at the Misano MotoGP round on 7 September. Once the 1299 is dropped, the 959 Panigale will become Ducati’s top V-twin superbike, so a high-spec Öhlins-suspended version makes a lot of sense.

By Ben Purvis