At times like this when it’s raining sideways outside, proper riding weather can seem a million miles away. I find solace in looking back at sunny photos and this photo from August 2013 never fails to raise a smile.
Not long after starting at SuperBike I found myself taking part in the annual 1000cc group test which included this very special Panigale. Ducati had pulled out all the stops and provided us with the top spec £27,000 ‘R’ model. It was every piece the clichéd love at first sight thing that you hear about, I was smitten. It’s not often most people get the chance to see a Panigale R outside of the showroom let alone have the chance to ride one, so I was going to seize the opportunity at the first opportunity.
Once the dyno runs were completed I made some excuses about having to borrow it for the weekend. The GSX-R1000, ZX-10R, RC8-R, Fireblade, R1, RSV4, and pretty trick BMW HP4 didn’t even get a look in.
The Panigale and I covered almost a thousand perfect miles that weekend. I cleaned it when it wasn’t even dirty and pushed it inside the hallway of the house at night so I could stare at it for a bit longer. Here’s to more of the same in 2014, happy times.