An exclusive interview with Ducati Corse’s Sporting Director discussing the 2019 WorldSBK and MotoGP season.
Words: Allan Lane//Images: Andrew Gosling
“In the last few years, we’ve been competing against a manufacturer that focuses exclusively on WorldSBK and a fast and consistent rider such as Rea. But we believe that with the new Panigale V4 R we have the potential to bring the title back to Borgo Panigale,” Paolo Ciabatti proclaims, giving his thoughts on the 2019 World Superbike Season and the maiden outing of Ducati’s new Panigale V4 R. “We’ve been able to mount a strong challenge in recent years. Even though the V-twin was at the end of development, and now we have a new bike which has been developed based on our experience in MotoGP.”
Paolo Ciabatti was born in Turin, in the Northern Italian region of Piedmont. Lush with culture and history, Turin is populated with art galleries, museums, restaurants and the like. Several years ago, when I met Paolo, it was immediately clear to me what type of man he was. Regal, sans the arrogance. Well to do, yet noble. Refined, but a not pushover. Quite simply, a gentleman’s gentleman. I’ve watched him in the Ducati team box at GP races as he emitted a calmed intensity. Watching his eyes, I could see him processing data, lap after lap, second by second. Although soft-spoken, nothing is lost in translation. His interactions with his team and riders border the lines of orchestral symphonic heights. He conducts under pressure while remaining collected. The only thing missing is his coat tails and a baton.