2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale Makes Racing Debut

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The 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale made its worldwide racing debut this past weekend, winning a race in Spain and scoring a pole position and a pair of podium finishes in South Africa.

Ducati‘s latest sportbike isn’t due to make its international racing debut until the Superstock 1000 Cup race, April 1 at Italy’s Imola circuit, but the 1199 has already found success in domestic racing.

Ismael Bonilla (pictured above) of EMS Competicion scored the Panigale’s first win in the opening race of the Castellano-Manchego Championship in Spain at the Albacete circuit last weekend. Bonilla started from the third row but made his way to the front and taking the lead late in the race for the win.

Meanwhile in South Africa, Team RACE! rider Chris Leeson (pictured below) and the Ducati 1199 Panigale captured pole position for the first round of the country’s national superbike championship at Zwartkops International Raceway in Pretoria.

The Panigale had a rough start in first race of a double header, as Leeson flubbed the launch. Leeson made up for the bad start by moving back into podium position by Lap 6 and passing BMW factory rider Greg Gildenhuys on the final lap to take second place behind the winner, Kawasaki ZX-10R rider David McFadden.

Leeson had a better start in the second race, running in third after the first corner. As was the case in the first race, McFadden was well out of reach at the end of the race, with Leeson and Gildenhuys  again battlingi t out to the end. This time however it was Gildenhuys and his BMW S1000RR coming out a head with Leeson scoring third place on the Panigale.

[Source: Ducati (Facebook), FCMM, Ismael Bonilla Fan Club (Facebook), Motorsport South Africa]

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