World’s first ride on new Ducati 998

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Marc Potter has stepped off the new Ducati 998 to report his first impressions of the Italian firm’s new flagship sports bike.

Potter said on Tuesday he had enjoyed two sessions so far on the bike but the first had been taken up with learning the lines on the tight and technical track, 20 miles from Rome.

” You don’t really get a chance to get out of fourth gear. Many of the corners are second gear and there’s one really tight hairpin where even first doesn’t seem low enough, ” he said.

In his second session he has started to learn the differences between the 998 and the 996 it replaces.

” The chassis feels pretty much the same. The brakes are slightly better with better feel, more instant bite and a little more power.

” The tyres it is likely to come on, Pirelli Dragon Evo Corsas, are good but you could get more out of the bike with Super Evos. ”

” The engine is much, much stronger than the old bike right from the bottom all the way to the top. ”

The 998 doesn’t have the same Testastretta engine as the 998R. It is detuned to 123bhp and doesn’t have some of the harder to mass produce components found on the strictly limited R.

But even so, it has 11bhp more than the 996 it replaces.

We’ll plan to bring you more of Potter’s impressions plus pictures and video direct from the test, later this week.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff