Reigning double WSBK champion Troy Bayliss was given the honour of demonstrating the new racer, which is still in its factory development stage, sporting black carbon-fibre bodywork and aluminium fuel-tank. Bayliss has already signed to ride the machine next year.

The 1098 F08 has been undergoing development work at Mugello in the hands of Ducati Xerox Junior Team Superstock riders Niccol? Canepa and Domenico Colucci, but for the Misano fans - and Bayliss - this was the bike's public debut.

"I just saw the new 1098 for the first time yesterday," confirmed Troy. "It looks and feels good and although it clearly doesn't feel like home after a couple of laps, I'm sure Ducati are moving in the right direction and it will be soon. I've still got a few things to concentrate on at the moment, like winning this year's title, but I'm really looking forward to testing the bike at a quieter moment in the future."

The 1098 F08, which will replace the current 999 F07, complies with the new draft regulations for the World Superbike Championship issued by the FIM two weeks ago, which allow 1200cc twins to race against 1000cc four-cylinders from 2008.

However, in gaining the extra 200cc, the twins have lost their current tuning advantage. This means that engine specifications for the F08 are much closer to the road version of the 1098 than on the 999. For example, the con-rods, crankshaft and rocker arms are all standard components. The 1200cc twins will also start the season with a higher minimum weight limit and with air restrictors fitted, although both these handicaps may change during the season depending on performance.

In terms of the F08 itself, the level of elaboration is similar to the 999 F07 - the frame is identical to the road bike, while the swing-arm, front and rear suspensions and exhausts can be modified.