Official Ducati test rider and DRE instructor, Alessandro Valia recently clocked a lap time of 1'55"3 at the Mugello circuit, aboard the 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale S. "With the new Panigale 1299, I expected an increase in performance but the final result has surpassed those expectations. During my first test of the 1299 Panigale S on the Mugello circuit, I managed to obtain a best lap time of 1'55"3, which is really incredible for a production bike with lights, turn signals, and mirrors. This was made possible thanks in part to thrust from the new 1285cc, 205bhp Superquadro engine," says Valia.
With a bore of 116mm and a stroke of 60.8mm, the Ducati 1299 Panigale's 1285cc Superquadro engine has a bore/stroke ratio of 1.91, which is unique in the world of superbikes. In the new Superquadro (so named for this exaggerated bore/stroke ratio), thanks to a new exhaust system, power has been increased to 205bhp at 10,500rpm, while torque has been increased to 144.6 Nm at 8,750 rpm. "Also fundamental are the improvements to the bike's frame. The new steering head angle and other changes to geometry have produced tangible benefits especially for large-radius curves, making the front end more stable, precise, and effective in finishing turns," adds Valia. On the new 1299 Panigale, the swingarm pivot point has been changed to optimize the rear tyre's grip, and the steering head angle has been reduced by a half degree to give a better steering character and more agile cornering.
"Thanks to the new Öhlins Smart EC suspension, which also includes the very useful electronic steering damper, the Ducati 1299 Panigale is able to move seamlessly from maximum track performance to comfortable road use, making even the return trip to Bologna a pleasure, despite the bumpy roads which characterize the Giogo or Futa passes," says Valia. The 1299 Panigale S is equipped with an exclusive semi-active Öhlins Smart EC suspension, which interfaces with the Bosch inertial platform to dynamically respond to how the bike is ridden. Its event-based mode adapts the suspension in real-time to various riding events. For example under braking it stiffens the front fork's damping, then softens it as the bike accelerates. Damn cool, huh?