Can the Supersport cut it on track?
Ducati say it’s a sporty road bike, MCN decided to see just how sporty
Ducati describe the Supersport as a ‘sporty roadbike’. I describe it – a little harshly, maybe – as a sportsbike for old men. So what about those sporty pretensions? Now I’m no trackday addict, but I thought it would be a good test of the Supersport S’s sporty side to see how it got on when pressed into track action.
A Ducati trackday at Donington beckoned and the only tweaks I made to the bike were to drop the tyre pressures from 34psi front and back to 32 front and 30 back.
I spent a couple of days getting my head around the bike’s lap timer, although as it uses the headlamp flasher to stop the clock, I did get a few angry flashes in return while I was practising getting to grips with it on the way to work a couple of times!
The event itself sees many riders hire bikes from Ducati and there were also plenty of purposeful-looking bikes being wheeled out of vans and wrapped in toastie tyre warmers. I didn’t even fold my mirrors in!
After a couple of laps behind a California Superbike School instructor, I slowly built up the pace. The OE Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres worked well on the dry track and the Supersport S had enough power around Donington’s sweeping curves. A few 1299 Panigales came past me on the back straight but I was still pulling nearly 130mph and didn’t feel I needed any more power.
The brakes had plenty of bite and the Öhlins suspension gave plenty of feedback. I kept the bike in Sport mode and apart from the occasional missed gear, the quickshifter and autoblipper were welcome.
I tried the screen in its high and low position, but still prefer it in its lowest position as I get a face-full of wind when it’s raised. That was also true on the M1 before and after the trackday.
The bike is attracting a lot of attention and anyone who has a go on it tends to mention how sporty it is. Quite!
DUCATI SUPERSPORT S Price £12,995 Fuel 16 litres @ 41.6mpg = 148-mile tank range Weight 210 kg (kerb) Seat 810mm Power 113bhp Torque 71.3 ftlb ANDY CALTON Riding for 30 years and wants something sporty but not scary Height 6ft 1in Weight 95kg
Calton gets some much-needed advice