Ducatis in Malaysia: Red riding hoot!

Firstly, I’m riding on the same strip of tarmac that, just yesterday, saw the world’s best students of motorcycling race each other in the MotoGP class. It’s the closest I’m ever going to come to pretending to be a MotoGP rider. Secondly, there’s the array of stunning Ducati motorcycles on offer – the relatively humble Monster 795, the rowdy Streetfighter 848, the monstrous Diavel and the red-as-sin 1199 Panigale S. It’s a festival of red, all right.

Since I’m keen on riding only those bikes that I haven’t yet ridden, (and since I’ve been off riding bikes for a couple of months because of a back injury) I jump on to the friendlier Streetfighter first. The rest of the group follows the instructor out of the pitlane, even as I’m struggling to get my gloves on. As soon as I let out the clutch, the bike stalls. Thanks to the helmet, no one can see my face turning redder than a Ducati.