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Ducati Panigale first ride: 'Like no Ducati I've ridden'

By Michael Neeves -

First rides & tests

 10 February 2012 17:45

UPDATE, 11 Feb, 15:10
"We're midway through our day riding the new Panigale and it continues to impress. The 195bhp Superquadro engine is hugely impressive with just the right amount of usable torque to fly out of the corners and monster power for devouring the straights.

"Everything from the suspension, engine braking, traction control, ABS and god knows what else is adjustable, enhancing the Ducati any way you want it.

"I can't notice the difference between the frameless chassis and a normal one, but then I'm not a MotoGP rider. All I know is it steers like a Japanese 1000 and handles superbly.

"The riding position is brilliant, it's not long like the old bike, but really controllable and natural instead.

"The gearbox, slipper clutch and electronic engine braking works well and the brakes are mind-blowing.

"Usually Ducatis feel slow even when they're going fast because they're twins - this feels fast!

"There's loads more to tell you, so check-out MCN on Wednesday for the full lowdown."

UPDATE, 11 Feb, 13:47
"I've just had my first taste of the Panigale. Wow.

"It's only been three sighting laps around this surreal Abu Dhabi circuit behind Troy Bayliss, which seems half track half street course, but already it feels like no Ducati I've ridden: short, fast steering, not an excess of torque - to make it easy to fire out of corners and a storming top end.

"I'll check back when I've had a proper go, but it's shaping up to be epic."

ORIGINAL STORY
Senior Road Tester, Michael Neeves, will be riding the eagerly awaited Ducati 1199 Panigale at the world launch in Abu Dhabi.

He has just arrived at the track: "I have just arrived at the fabulous Abu Dhabi circuit to ride Ducati's new superbike. It's the perfect conditions for testing with tomorrow's temperature due to hit thirty degrees.

"I cannot wait to ride it, it could be a game changing motorcycle for Ducati. I will certainly be kept busy during the course of the day getting to know this brand new bike with its new engine, chassis, electronic suspension and a raft of electronic riding aids.

"Just standing looking at the Panigale in the floodlights of the Abu Dhabi circuit it looks stunning and I hope it rides as good as it looks.

"I will be reporting back during the course of tomorrow to give you my first riding impressions."