Exclusive: Byrne’s first reaction to Ducati Panigale

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MCN have spoken exclusively to Shane Byrne this morning, only minutes after the four-time MCE British Superbike champion completed his first laps on the new Ducati Panigale R he’ll ride in next year’s series.

Riding alongside both Ducati’s Grand Prix and World Superbike test teams at Valencia, the Paul Bird Motorsport rider says that even though it’s early days he’s been impressed with the bike.

“I haven’t done too much yet – we’ve just been getting a feeling for it, getting comfortable and changing riding position. I’ve done about twelve or fifteen laps so far this morning, and the track is only now starting to dry out.

“It’s very different from what I’ve been used to riding the past few years, but while it’s been a while since I’ve been on a v-twin, there’s definite Ducati DNA in there! I was a little worried before I got here because the road bike feels fast – almost like a four cylinder – and I didn’t want this bike to be even faster, to feel like a nitrous boosted version of it – but it feels good!”

His test concludes this afternoon, with the team hoping to resume testing as soon as machines are made available to them – something now planned to happen earlier than originally forseen.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer