Ducati 959 Panigale Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
With the 1000km service done, it was time to get the old girl to the track - man have I been hanging out. I just returned from the MotoGP at Phillip Island last weekend so was extra gee'd up. Plus I picked up a few tips from Marquez (not the one where he lost the front while leading the race ;) ).

The day started off pretty cool at around 15C (~60F) with a decent breeze. First session was ok. Bike felt good but this is a big change coming from a 4 cylinder R6. Main thing was the gearbox (and gearing). The R6 was silky smooth doing clutchless downshifts, while the 959 took a bit more getting used to (even though I haven't had any problems on the street). Had it fairly sorted after a couple of sessions though. Letting the engine slow a little more before each downshift helped. I did completely miss a few upshifts with the QS every few laps though and would struggle to get it to change up. This didn't really get any better or worse throughout the day.

Strung some decent laps together by the end of the first session but was surprised to see I was almost 4 seconds off my best R6 time (1:20 vs 1:16.4). I knew I wasn't lapping anywhere as fast but thought I would have been making up a bit more on the straights and be a bit closer than that. Oh well, was still easing into it and figuring out gearing through the infield.

Times obviously got quicker and was down around 1:17 in session 3. I realized I was noticing a few of the bumps more than I did in the R6 (which was dialed in pretty nicely). I had already adjusted the suspension somewhat but took off half a turn of front compression and it seemed to help quite a bit.

Before
Front: C - 4.5, R - 4 (turns in from hard)
Rear: C - 0.5, R - 12 (turns/clicks in from hard respectively)
After
Front: C - 5

Last session everything started to gel really nicely - it felt epic! I only did a few laps as got the feeling this was one of those moments when you think you're on top of the world, get a little confident, a little fatigued, first track day of the season, brand new bike, and **** suddenly goes pear shaped.

I felt the bike would hold a line from turn in, through the apex a lot more easily and predictably than the R6 so I was able to string together smoother and more consistent laps. The turn in was really sharp and in fact, one left hand sweeper, I kept over doing the turn in and cutting across the inside rumble strip a little. Thought that was quite nice that the bike wanted to turn so aggressively (a nice problem to have). Meant I could leave the turn in slightly later and get a little more braking in.

Was pleased to see I had finally bested my R6 time by clocking a 1:16.13. But yeah, that took a bit more doing than I expected. It's a frick'n R6! A couple of factors I guess;
1) I had many track days on the R6 and would rag the **** out of it not giving a care in the world if I completely stacked it. (The fairings were already pre-stacked - numerous times :) ).
2) I was running Dunlop Q3s on the R6 which are a little stickier than the OEM PRCs.
That said, the PRCs were better than I expected. They felt very planted, didn't budge once all day and I believe I was pulling lean angles equivalent of the R6. Logger said 50 degrees but not sure of the accuracy.

I had tyre warmers for the first time which were fantastic. So great to have that level of confidence in the tyres straight off the bat.

Settings in Race mode I used were;
EBC - 3
DTC - Started on 5 but saw the light flicking on all the time even though I didn't feel anything and was riding it out of corners like my R6 rather than a bike that has TC. Dropped to 4. Will drop it to 3 for the next track day and see how that goes.
ABS - 1 (started on 2 a while ago on the street but found it a little intrusive when threshold braking and would have expected it to be an annoyance on track)

Should be some photographer photos to share in a few days.
 

Attachments

1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top