My first and only bike is my 959
But to echo what everyone else said, take the learner's course. In most USA states, completion of the MSF course gets you your motorcycle endorsement (gives you the ability to go out on test rides and immediately ride around legally) and might give you some insurance discounts.
As far as what everyone else says, its all valid, but I had no problems learning to be smooth on my Panigale and never had my bike on engine low for longer than it took me to switch to the race setting. I consider myself to have a high level of dexterity and athleticism so that helped. After the MSF, I knew I wouldn't care for a 300 and had aspirations to get on the track, so hence the 959. Beyond what I've said, here's the things I would echo as advice:
You'll need to learn clutch/throttle/balance operation and be proficient to be successful riding the 959
4) focus on proper positioning and grip the handle bars properly. (like a screwdriver) this will help you give fine throttle controls. you want to be smooth with the throttle. smooth smooth smooth.
Absolutely the most important piece of advice to listen to is this:
...I simply exercised discipline with my right wrist...
Be careful and don't let false confidence succeed your skill level and experience.
End of the day, do what you want to do. You definitely cannot blame anything but yourself if you make a bad decision or outride your personal limits/skills. I know through first hand experience that the baby Panigale is certainly tamable by a beginner with only the 12 or so hours of MSF experience. I haven't dropped my bike yet over my 6000miles/9months of ownership, and the only place I plan on doing so is through pushing my limits at the track.