On show­room set­tings the Du­cati has the edge

MCN - - UK’S TOUGHEST TEST -

We nipped the bikes to Brands Hatch Indy for an MSV track­day. I was ex­pect­ing Yamaha’s track­fo­cused R6 to shine on the track and show the Du­cati a clean pair of heels, but it was the Du­cati that had the edge. The 959 was eas­ier to ride, had more torque/ power and could carry more cor­ner speed, which re­sulted in a faster lap time. The R6 was ham­pered by com­par­a­tively poor Dun­lop Sport­max D214s and that hard sus­pen­sion, es­pe­cially the rear, which lacked feel. The limit was vague on the Yamaha, mean­ing I didn’t have the con­fi­dence to carry cor­ner speed or keep the revs buzzing. On track the Yamaha needs to be above 9000rpm ev­ery­where. With track rub­ber and the cor­rect set-up the R6 would have been able to make up its per­for­mance deficit, but on show­room set­tings it was an easy win for the Du­cati. The only draw­back was the ugly ex­haust that lim­its right foot move­ment on right-han­ders (al­most ev­ery cor­ner at Brands Indy).

Bet­ter tyres and some set-up time would fix the R6

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