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Video Ducati Panigale 959 On Track In Valencia

In a word, it’s plush. Like mechanical velvet.

I must admit I wasn’t sure what to make of this at first. My recent rendezvous with the hard-edged and heady Panigale 1299 S, and my fond recollections of the gloriously fearsome 1199 S, left me with expectations of something snappier, snarlier, far stiffer, and altogether more responsive.

Then I remembered the two magic words uttered in the pre-ride presentation: balance and accessibility.

Quite deliberately, the overall feel of the Panigale 959 was engineered to be far softer than its bigger, brasher and more boisterous sisters. Despite its capacity-creep into the realms of previous superbikes, Ducati intends this to be its entry-level Supersport machine. And if you keep this in mind, the velveteen nature of the 959 starts to make complete sense.

If you are looking for a ball-breaking trackday beast to scare the bejesus out of yourself, this is not the motorcycle. If, however, you are simply looking for good looks and good times, or a perfect introduction to life behind dropbars, you could do a lot worse than this easy-riding Bolognian belle. She’s beautiful, and she doesn’t bite…