Ducatis in Malaysia: Red riding hoot!

I shattered the world record in the ‘leap of faith’ category aboard the Panigale. And it rewarded me with the fastest 25 minutes of my life. It shreds straights to pieces, carves corners way better than I can wield it and brakes like it’s run into a wall. And through all of this, it throbs and roars like a living being. Amazing how Ducati has managed to pack so much sensation into such a small thing.

A few hours later, I find myself – brain still twitching as it recovers from the sensory assault that is the Panigale – pondering over Rossi’s exit from Ducati. Two days ago, I sat watching him talk about how qualifying went, waiting for my chance to corner him and extract yet another autograph. Instead, I signed a photo of the two of us taken three years ago and presented it to him.

I asked him how he felt about leaving Ducati. He responded only with a smile and a pat on my shoulder. Everyone says it’s the bike. All I can say is, with Ducati making a bike like the Panigale, it’s hard to imagine how.

(Words: Kartik Ware, Photos: Aniruddh Kaushal)