Ducati 1299 Panigale S
Lap time 1:42.17
No machine here comes as close to being a race bike with lights as the Panigale. In last year’s test at the flowing Jerez circuit the Yamaha beat the Ducati, but here at the tighter Alcarras circuit the 1299 Panigale is a whole second quicker.
Some of the Ducati’s advantage is down to how perfectly its gearing suits the track. The long-geared Yamaha and Kawasaki are always between first and second around the tighter sections of the Spanish track. But a lot of the Panigale’s pounce is down to its unrivalled braking power and stability, rocksolid poise into turns and huge appetite for corner speed.
There’s loads of ground clearance, which the BMW and Yamaha struggle with on race tyres and the Ducati’s autoblipper gives you the brain space to concentrate on other aspects of your riding. Being so roomy, with wide bars and low pegs, it’s easy to climb all over the Ducati in the corners.
Being the most powerful bike here helps, and its 4mph faster at the end of the start/finish straight, which is like someone jogging past you while you're walking.
The 1299 Panigale S is much quicker through the downhill waterfall section and the run up to the final corner.