The start of World Superbike track action in 2018 has seen the maiden outing of the race-specification Ducati Panigale V4 being tested by Lorenzo Zanetti.

Ducati has set up a dedicated test team for the new Panigale V4 at the Jerez pre-season World Superbike test with Zanetti on rider duties while Racing Ducati duo Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri concentrate on their current race bikes in preparation for the 2018 WSBK season. The new Ducati Superbike will not be homologated and entered into the World Superbike championship until 2019.

Ducati has confirmed it is the first Panigale V4 to be publicly tested in race-specification trim with previous outings being the road-specification bike used by the two World Superbike riders and Casey Stoner.

Zanetti is testing alongside fellow Ducati riders Davies, Melandri and Michael Rinaldi at the two-day Jerez pre-season test as the 2018 World Superbike grid gets up to speed. The Racing Ducati squad will move on to Portimao for a second test on the 28-29th January before the team’s official launch on the 7th February.

Ducati have been joined by the majority of the World Superbike grid at the Jerez test including the factory Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha, BMW and MV Agusta squads as well as a number of customer teams. The JG Speedfit Kawasaki squad with riders Leon Haslam and Luke Mossey from the British Superbike championship are also present at the Jerez test.