Ferrari vs. Ducati: The Great Debate Continues

11/29/2010 @ 1:19 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Motor Trend has weighed in on the great debate: which is faster, a car or a bike? Wanting to explore the issue with some style, the car mag proved prints isn’t dead, and took a Ferrari 458 and Ducati 1198S Superbike to the track to see which Rosso Corsa was fastest. With a quarter-mile drag and a lap around the Streets of Willow, MT has its definitive answer on which is the fastest Italian, but we imagine the answer to what form of transportation is ultimately faster will remain an open debate for a while longer. The video is after the jump, stop watching at the 8:22 mark if you don’t want to hear a bunch of excuses being made.

Source: Motor Trend via Autoblog

  • spy

    the narrative was a bit conflicting. he said you have to be someone like steve rapp to get this type of performance from the 1198S and then sort of implied you dont have to be on the ferrari 458 italia (which is probably my favorite car). though they got a GT2 Champion Justin Bell – his lap times can not be had by a normal every day driver. i reckon Justin Bell is a better and more successful car driver than Rapp is a motorcycle driver.

  • Flavio

    kk…another point….this is the older version, with -20 hp ans +20lbs….
    so the new one would kick ass even more

  • Keith

    lol…have to be somebody like Steve Rapp? HA! I’d bet plugged nickle that there are more than a few club racers and let’s be honest track day riders who can explore the capabilities of the 1198S on track and still get better times that their comatriots who club race and track day the 458. Face it people motorcycles inspite of being a little behind tech wise have made bigger leaps of performance and utilizing what they have than the cars have. In stock trim…more importantly you can’t push either on the steet that hard, not even a little bit.

    Mind you though…things MIGHT be slightly different on a street course. Say something like the IoM and I don’t know about you kids but I’d buy tickets to go see that little race. ;^)

  • Odie

    Rapp turned 1:19 at SOW (Streets of Willow) which is a small track that doesn’t really lend itself to a liter bike. While 1:19 is fast by almost anyone standards (I’d kill to turn that, some local young guns were setting lap records right around 1:16.0 on …wait for it…a 600 back in 2008. That’s 6sec faster than Bell in the Ferrari.

  • Tom

    When Ducatis spontaneously combust due to poor design or build quality, then there is a debate.

  • BikePilot

    Cool stuff! I think the comments re being like rapp are meant to indicate that it takes more skill to ride a bike in a fairly competent manner than to drive a car in a similar manner. Not that a noob cager could turn the same laptimes as a talented race driver, but that the percent difference in a noob cager’s lap vs the race driver’s lap is likely much less than the difference between a noob-rider’s lap and a pro-rider’s lap (if the noob could get ’round the track at all on the duc). Its just easier to push a cage to the limits of traction because it doesn’t fall over. Its no easier to pick a fast line or get the braking points just right though.

    Also, a big point I think is the cost difference. Most anyone can afford a 1198 if they really want to – the base model is about the same as an econo-box cage. Few people could afford the fast cage – it is more costly than most homes and those usually require 30-year mortgages (and as we’ve seen are still out of far too many people’s financial means). Nothing puts outright performance in the hands of the ordinary worker like a motorcycle and no matter what your income nothing provides the visceral excitement of a thundering v2 motorcycle at full tilt!

  • Damo

    For me one fact stands out: Most people can actually afford an 1198.

    Honestly though if they wanted to really embarrass the Ferrari they should have ran it against an Aprilia RSV4 Factory, which I still contend is the best bike to come out of Italy since the 916.

  • 76

    Streets of willow yes the bike is going to win…. With that said they should have driven right across the street to “Big Willow” and see the difference there. I’m thinking the times get alittle closer to maybe upside down at that point. Streets is not a fast course, Big willow is, I think they needed to included that as well but I guess Motor Trend didnt want to pay for a binned Ferrari. You crash there its not going to be pretty.

  • Damo

    Ever on the Big Willow the 458 wont have enough room to make up the slack.

    Just as a sanity look at all the supercar times posted on the Nürburgring and compare them to WSBK lap times.

  • Rob

    Bikes will tend to be faster on more open tracks with less tight corners and braking zones. Im not sure it would have been any more close on Big Willow. The cars only big advantage is braking zones, very tight corners and esses where the bike would have to flick side to side. Larger sweeping corners and straights play into the bike’s hands for sure.

  • Steve Lang

    I’ll be driving the 458 to a track day pulling my trailer behind with my 1198 on top. Win Win.

  • Prich

    They should have had Justin Bell host TopGear America. He seems like he’d be a good presenter.

  • The sound of that v8 is worth another topic by itself.

  • Greg

    Tom, I believe the days of Ducati’s poor design/build quality ended when TGP picked them up and the upward trend has continued through today. Looks like the old Cagiva days are long in the past. Hyundai’s were terrible in the 1990’s as well.

  • Tom

    I was referring the the tendency for Ferraris to burst into flames. Ferraris are overrated. Ducatis perform.

  • Doug

    Ducatis also last….despite rumors. As long as you ride them routinely and maintain them properly they are bullet proof. My 98′ 916 is still running strong with 34k on the odo and 3 or 4 years of hard track use. She’s still my favorite bike in my stable and the one I choose to ride each weekend!

    Can’t wait to see what Ducati is releasing mid-2011 since the 1198 is going away.

  • Doug

    One more thing…the narrator says the Ducati has a V-Twin engine. Completely wrong…’s an L-Twin engine.

    Harley = 45 degree V-twin
    Aprilia = 60 degree V-twin
    Ducati = L-Twin….90 degree of course

    Just thought that should be clarified.

  • Raul

    Kevin Schwantz broke the SCCA lap record [for its class] on a C5 Zo6 at Willow Springs then got on a K1 GSX-R 1000 and murdered the cage by 7sec. That was in a m/c mag back in the early 00’s.
    Oh and another really cool test was done few years back between Doug Chandler on his almost stock ZX10R and some famous cager in a 700+hp Skyline at Button Willow.
    Bike won by 5sec+
    Race bike vs proper racecars, bikes lose.
    Sportbikes vs street legal fast cars, bikes whoop ass.

  • frank

    You can also go to YouTube and watch modified MOPEDS, yep those little one bangers that need pedals to get going, blow off Ferrari’s in drag races. Actually, I would be happy to take either one of the test vehicles, and I have a much better chance of being able to afford the Ducati than the Ferrari.