Replacing the 1198S, Ducati’s new 1198SP features an electronic quickshifter, an Ohlins TTX rear shock, slipper clutch and a lighter, larger 18-litre fuel tank. Overall weight is down 1kg to 168kg dry. Short of spending over £30k for the limited edition homologation-special 1198R Corse, the SP is the ultimate evolution of the 1198. It’s a brutally grunty machine, which needs a good suspension set-up to get the best from, but in the right hands and the right conditions it’s epic. The larger fuel tank is much needed and the quickshifter and slipper clutch makes track riding easier. It has an eight stage traction control system, but compared to the new-generation systems on the BMW S1000RR and Aprilia RSV4 Factory SE, it now seems basic.