Though the Ducati 1199 Panigale has struggled in World Superbike since entering the series last season, it’s a totally different story in the German IDM Superbike Championship.
There, where bikes are based on the stock models, the 1199 Panigale R has dominated. Ducati clinched the manufacturer’s title earlier in the season with the 3C Racing team, and following the season finale in Hockenheim, the team also clinched the rider’s title.
In 15 races, the 3C Racing team of Xavi Fores and Max Neukirchner achieved 11 wins, showing the domination of the 1199 Panigale R in IDM Superbike.
Following is the official press release from Ducati:
Having already snatched the manufacturers’ title at the penultimate round of the German Superbike championship (IDM), today at Hockenheim the 3C Racing team and rider Xavi Forés were also celebrating victory in the riders’ championship, won by the Spaniard on board the Ducati 1199 Panigale R.
In 2014, Spaniard Xavi Forés and German rider Max Neukirchner agreed to join the newly created 3C Racing Team, managed by Karsten Jerschke, on its quest to challenge for the IDM German Superbike championship title with the Ducati 1199 Panigale R.
Well-prepared for the upcoming season, Xavi, Max and the 3C Racing team dominated the Superbike championship right from round 1 at the Lausitzring. The first three races of the season went to Xavi, with Max following him across the line each time in second position. Xavi went on to score eight consecutive podium finishes (of which three were race wins), gradually building up a significant championship lead. Max scored four race wins of his own, meaning that between the two riders, the 3C Racing team triumphed in ten out of the first thirteen races, a very impressive result .
The two Ducati riders’ combined results meant that the Borgo Panigale-based manufacturer secured the manufacturers’ title at the penultimate round, a massive 161 points clear of second-placed BMW after race 1. This marks Ducati’s first ever win in the German IDM championship.
As far as the riders’ title was concerned, the classification after the penultimate round saw Forés on 278 points, Neukirchner on 252 and BMW’s Reiterberger with 232. It would therefore be a three-way battle for victory at the final Hockenheim round…
Once on track at Hockenheim, Xavi and Max finished race 1 second and third respectively, while the team’s third rider, Lorenzo Lanzi, took the win in race 2 with his 1199 Panigale R, followed by his two teammates, Xavi (second) and Max (fourth). Races were hard-fought and exciting to watch, and it was the red bikes of Borgo Panigale to triumph in this important competition that is of a high technical and sporting level.
In a championship comprising fifteen races (over eight rounds), 29-year old Forés was able to power his 1199 Panigale to first place in six of them, finishing all of the remaining races in in second or third position, for an impressive final result In which Ducati was represented on every single podium. And if that was not enough, Forés’ teammate Max Neukirchner, having also stepped up to the podium in every race except two, closes the season as runner-up. Another interesting fact, which further confirms the performance of the 1199 Panigale bikes, is that this is the first time in IDM history that the rider who won the opening race has gone on to lift the title trophy at the end of the year.
Ducati would like to thank the entire team and its riders for their great work this season. In celebration of this historic victory, the championship winning 1199 Panigale R bike will be exhibited on the Ducati stand at the upcoming 2014 Intermot show in Cologne, Germany, from 30 September to 6 October, while riders Forés and Neukirchner will visit the trade fair on 30 September, the opening day of the show that is dedicated to the press.
Team 3C Racing will also take part in the penultimate round of the Superbike World Championship as a wildcard entry with riders Forés, Neukirchner and Lanzi. Racing is scheduled to take place at the French circuit of Magny-Cours from 3 to 5 October.
Commentary following the IDM Superbike season finale:
Xavi Forés – 3C Racing #12: “It has been an unbelievable season for me because this was my first time competing in the IDM. For sure it was not easy to do, but I was able to win a lot of races and be on the podium in every single race. It is amazing for me, for the team and for Ducati to finally win the championship. I’m really happy to have continued to improve my performance on my 1199 Panigale throughout the season. The whole team made a fantastic and very professional job. Finally we have won and now it’s time to enjoy our success.”
Karsten Jerschke – 3C Racing Team Owner: “We are really happy and proud to win both the riders and constructors championships for Ducati in our first year in the IDM. With the triple podium in Assen, we created some epic victories for the whole Ducati family. To end the IDM season with a victory for Lorenzo Lanzi also makes us really happy. Now we are looking forward to gain some impressions of WSBK and obtain some good results with our riders.”
2014 German Superbike Championship Final Rider Point Standings: 1. XAVI FORES (DUCATI) 318; 2. MAX NEUKIRCHNER (DUCATI) 281; 3. Markus Reiterberger (BMW) 273; 4. Bastien Makels (BMW) 147; 5. Stefan Nebel (BMW) 130; 6. Danny De Boer (Honda) 122; 7. Damian Cudlin (Kawasaki) 104; 8. Matej Smrz (Yamaha) 94