International press launches don’t get better than this. After a day’s riding at the Yas Marina F1 Circuit in Abu Dhabi, it’s safe to say the 1199 is like no other Ducati ever created. We were treated to the high-grade Panigale S model, complete with its humdinger new engine, monocoque chassis and a barrage of ground-breaking electronica.
Aside from the gorgeous looks, with a class-leading performance on the scales (Ducati claim it’s the lightest in the big-bike class) and the GP-derived monocoque technology, the first thing that grabs you is the steering and its ability in the corners. Understeer? What understeer? The 1199 turns like no other Ducati, which is a good thing. This is soon followed by the all-new Superquadro engine and how different its character is compared to the 1198. The Panigale is more like a four-pot with its smoother, more liner delivery, and winding up to a 195bhp top-end frenzy.
And the electronics aren’t just pointless gizmos – this Ducati is function as well as fashion. Ladies and gents, this is a life changer. You can read some shitty web reports, or you can wait until the next issue of Fast Bikes for the full rundown on the model of 2012, possibly ever.