When Ducati announced the Panigale as the name for their new 1199 Superbike, they also announced that they had no plans to race the über performance focussed model in the World Superbike Championship next year, instead deciding to persist with the 1198R for another year. The smarty pants amongst you might have wondered if the 1199 Panigale will appear as a Superbike in privateer hands in 2012 but the answer is No. Blame the rules.
Ducati stated in their press release:
Developed as a true sport bike with competition in its DNA, the Ducati 1199 Panigale will first see racing action in the 2012 FIM Superstock Championship and, in accordance with the factory’s development program, make its debut in World Superbike in 2013.
Okay, so Ducati won’t field a factory team but what is to stop the privateers? On page 177 of the 185 pages of rules and regulations that make up the Road Racing FIM Superbike & Supersport World Championships & FIM Superstock Cup Regulations (phew) you will find section 2.9.6 on the Homologation Application, Inspection and Control clearly states that only the original manufacturer can submit a request for homologation.
Ducati argues that the two-stage introduction enables Ducati additional development for the Superbike version of the 1199 Panigale, appropriate to the more open regulations of the World Superbike category, and in addition help control costs for World Superbike teams who can continue to compete with a 2012 version of the 1198 with technical support from Ducati Engineers.