Now is the winter of my discontent made glorious summer, as the much-anticipated 2008 motorcycle racing season is finally underway. All the major manufacturers compete in both the World Superbike and MotoGP series, and the machinery they have developed is stunning. MotoGP machines are super-exotic multi-million dollar prototypes, whereas Superbikes are the pinnacle of production-based motorcycles developed into hugely powerful race-bikes.
Curva Sito Pons at Jerez, Spain is one of life’s immensely satisfying corners—if you get it right. It is a long, sweeping uphill right-hander taken fast in third gear, and leads onto the back straight. I cut the Ducati 1098R in wide and stayed on a neutral throttle. You can not see the exit until you have crested the hill, but this was my third session, so I knew precisely where it was. The bike held its line perfectly; I aimed for the inside paint stripe and, as my knee-slider grazed the apex, I hamfistedly cracked hard on the throttle.