Ducati 999: World’s first test

Published: 15 July 2002

MCN’s Marc Potter has just stepped off Ducati’s new 999 superbike at the world’s first test in Misano, Italy. We’ll bring you a full 10-page report in MCN out on July 24. In the meantime, here are his first impressions:

" I’ve only been out for ten minutes, the session has been red flagged, but already I’ve learned a lot, " he said at 9.45am UK time.

" The riding position is fully adjustable, but even on standard settings it’s loads more roomy than the old bike.

" The wheelbase is longer, but it turns faster, much quicker. It’s considerably easier to ride, and is less radical , particularly in the riding position.

" The motor is essentially the Testastretta of the 998, making 126bhp. There are some tweaks. It picks up faster and is stronger in the midrange.

" Brakes are essentially the same but it has a new master cylinder. They were good before. Now they are very very good… and it’s much more stable under braking. The old bike didn’t like to turn under braking. The new one can… it’s quite nice! "

" As far as the looks are concerned, the acid test for me is when you line the 916, 998 and the 999 up (which they have here at Misano) and you ask yourself which one you most want to ride… and it’s the 999.

" It looks awesome, fantastic in the flesh and really is a leap forward from the old bike. "

You can read Potter’s full 10-page report, complete with stunning sun-drenched pictures from the world first test, in MCN, out on July 24, 2002.

See MCN, out today, for first official pictures of the new 999.