Yes, it is red. And, it is electrifying. But, even after having ridden it at Sepang, we just can’t seem to have enough of the Ducati Panigale. Here’s what it feels like.
There's no scream, no shriek, no high pitch pandemonium; just a very loud, deep and angry roar that fi lls up the main straight between the grandstand and the paddock, as if it was a tiny studio apartment. The sight is even more overbearing. Flat out with the throttle pinned, the Ducati Panigale is approaching the end of the main straight. It streaks past the 200m mark and then the 150m board, but the brakelights don't come on.
By now I am sure, the rider and the Panigale can't make the tight right hander that follows,and are bound to end up in the crash barrier. But just then, the Ducati's LED brake lights light up. There's a lot of tyre noise too as the rear 200 section Pirelli slides rapidly away from the corner. This, though, isn't an out of control panic reaction; it’s a well choreographed dance that's leading the bike into a tighter line for the right hand corner.
Within a blink of the eye, the slide ends, and the Panigale drops ferociously into the corner and disappears from my view. Now that's drama. And to be honest, the Panigale is one hell of a dramatic motorcycle. It is one of the fi nest superbikes we have ridden, and to see its full fury at the Sepang circuit at the hands of three-time World Superbike Champion, Troy Bayliss, was a sight to behold.
Actually, even when standing still, the Panigale looks stunning. You end up staring at it for hours. And when you do, you realise the superb attention to detail on the bike that makes it even more exotic. There's the beautifully sculpted tail piece, the angry headlamps, the side mounted rear suspension and the single-sided swingarm holding the lovely three spoke forged alloy besides the various wonderfully machined and finished bits that just make you go weak in the knees. It truly is a visual delight.