As part of the 11th edition of World Ducati Week which will take place from July 22-24 at Misano, a total of 21 riders including MotoGP stars Francesco Bagnaia, Jack Miller, Jorge Martin Johann Zarco and WorldSBK rider Alvaro Bautista will compete in front of Ducati riders and fans from all over the world (Saturday 23rd).

The Panigale V4 S and V2 will be the machines used, while every rider will have their own customised livery. 

With Bautista currently leading the WorldSBK championship and Michael Rinaldi a proven race winner on Panigale machinery, the two Superbike riders could be seen as favourites.

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However, many of Ducati’s MotoGP riders do track days with their own Panigale machines, which is why Bautista is unsure who the favourite is. 

"I don’t know who is the favourite but I know that the Italian riders are testing, testing, testing with the Panigale," said the Spaniard. 

"I think for many of the Italian riders this is the race of the year. Also, it doesn’t matter the championship because it’s like ‘ahh race of the year for Ducati’, and they have to be prepared for that. 

"I just go there to have fun and to stay with the Ducatisti. Let’s hope I can race because I will have a check on my hand to see if it’s something serious."

Bagnaia ‘maybe the favourite, but I’ve never seen Martin riding a street bike’ - Rinaldi 

While Bautista chose to sit on the fence regarding his prediction, Rinaldi feels MotoGP’s most recent race winner has a very good shot of victory.

Bagnaia, who has hauled himself back into championship contention after winning in Assen last month - aided by the mistake from Fabio Quartararo which saw him crash into Aleix Espargaro before suffering another fall on his way to retiring from the Grand Prix, is not the only MotoGP rider who will be in contention for the win.

Both Pramac Ducati riders Martin and Zarco are very experienced riding Panigale machinery, as is the case for Miller, while Luca Marini, Marco Bezzecchi and Fabio Di Giannantonio all do so as part of their training as well.  

Speaking after last weekend’s WorldSBK race two at Donington Park, Rinaldi said: “While we are here they are training in Misano. They are training with the street bike, but anyway, it will be a fantastic day for the fans, it will be good for us to fight with them. 

“I know that everybody wants to prove they are faster than the others so it will be cool. Pecco [Bagnaia] with that bike is really fast but I’ve never seen Martin riding a street bike, but I think maybe Pecco is the favourite.”

Regarding his weekend at the British circuit, Rinaldi was a firm contender for the podium in race one before issues with his Panigale V4 R resulted in him struggling to keep touch with the top six.

That was not the case in race two as Rinaldi came close to catching Jonathan Rea for the final podium spot, only for his tyres to drop in the last few laps. 

"I was more hungry for the podium after the issues in race one," added Rinaldi. "But the top three guys didn’t make any mistakes. 

"At the end of the race I saw Johnny [Rea] struggling so I was really pushing, also on the last lap I said ‘okay, I will really push’, but my tyres started to drop because I demanded too much during the race. 

"I risked crashing so I knew the podium would not be possible but I’m happy with fourth position because we finished close to the top guys. 

"The three ‘special’ riders of the championship are getting closer, also because we are in one of the toughest tracks for us."