Race 1 of the Czech Round is destined to be remembered for a long time by motorcycle racing enthusiasts, as Alvaro Bautista on his Ducati Panigale V4 R notched up the thousandth podium for Ducati in the Superbike World Championship.
The one thousand podiums obtained by Ducati in WorldSBK represent a unique result, never achieved by any manufacturer in any motorcycle discipline. The Borgo Panigale manufacturer has written the history of the World Championship reserved for production-based machinery, constantly playing the leading role with six generations of super sports bikes that have taken a total of 383 victories.
WorldSBK has seen Ducati present and victorious right from the very first edition in 1988, with Marco Lucchinelli on the 851 winning at Donington the first round ever raced. Only two years later, in 1990, Raymond Roche obtained Ducati’s first world title in Superbike with the 851. In the following two years, Doug Polen replicated the success and Ducati quickly became the most popular bike on the starting grids of the World Championship, winning the manufacturers’ title in 1991, 1992 and 1993. The 1994 season marked the beginning of the era of Carl Fogarty and the Ducati 916 which won for two consecutive seasons. In 1996 it was Troy Corser who gave a sixth riders title to Ducati. In 1998 and 1999 “Foggy” – Carl Fogarty – won two more titles, bringing his total number of race wins to XX and becoming the most victorious rider in history riding the Borgo Panigale Superbikes.
In 2000, the baton was handed over to another Ducati legend, Troy Bayliss, who won three titles with the Rosse in Superbike – 2001, 2006, 2008 – becoming the only rider capable of winning with three different generations of Ducati superbikes: the 998, 999 and 1098. In the meantime, Neil Hodgson and James Toseland won two more riders’ titles (2003 and 2004), and in 2011 Carlos Checa took the championship title win with the 1198.
But there have been so many riders who have contributed to the legend in Superbike, with victories and podiums that have helped to indelibly engrave them in the memory of Ducati enthusiasts, starting with Giancarlo Falappa; Fabrizio Pirovano, Pierfrancesco Chili, Ben Bostrom, Ruben Xaus, Regis Laconi, Noriyuki Haga, Chaz Davies, Marco Melandri, Scott Redding and many others.
The latest triumphs bear the hallmark of the Panigale V4, the motorcycle that represents the most modern and clearest incarnation of those principles of Style, Sophistication and Performance that guide the collective and daily commitment of Ducati, in a path that through the 851, 916, 999, 1098 families and then the Panigale, has led the manufacturer to write another important page in its racing history.