MCN Editor Marc Potter has just stepped off the brand-new Ducati 1098 after the first session of the track launch at Kyalami in South Africa.
The twisting, technical track has huge climbs and some seriously fast corners and is a enormous test of a bike. Bikes do lose around 20 per cent of their power because the track is at 5500ft altitude.
Potter said: “I’ve just got in after the first session on the standard 1098. World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss lead me around the track he knows well from his WSB racing time here to teach me the track. I then got another five laps on the technical and climbing track.
“Despite being 20bhp down because of the altitude here the 1098 still feels like a seriously impressive package. The bike makes a claimed 160bhp normally – so even with “just” 140bhp here it still has loads of punch all the way through the rev range.
“It feels about as fast as a 999 at the moment because of the loss of power but will be a serious challenge for the 1000s when we get it on UK roads within the next few weeks.”
The 1098 test will be updated with video, more pictures and more riding impressions as the test continues.