Lap the Circuit of the Americas on a Ducati 1199 Panigale R

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I just arrived back in California, after spending the last few days in Austin, Texas — taking part in the Ducati 1199 Panigale R international press launch at the new Circuit of the Americas race course.

As I put the finishing touches on my reports about Ducati’s new homologation-special, as well as the newest MotoGP circuit in the United States, I thought I would share a view not too many track day enthusiasts will get a lap to see: a lap around the Circuit of the Americas.

Unless you are one of the few lucky riders who will attend the very limited number of events COTA has to honor this year, riding on this purpose-built GP circuit is going to be an expensive proposition.

That is a real shame because the Circuit of the Americas is a first-rate facility, and once you get the hang of this very-unstraight-forward track, COTA is a very rewarding course to ride on two wheels.

Learning the track is a whole different story though (I should have paid closer attention to what Colin Edwards said). We only got four 15-minute sessions to learn the 20 turns of COTA during the press launch, and let’s just say the first session was a complete shit-show for everyone involved.

I would have loved to spend a few more sessions on the course, which really played to the strengths of the Panigale R, and figure out a couple of the corners/sections that were still giving me troubles — but, such is life.

If you have the opportunity to snag one of the few remaining track days still available, I highly recommend it (how often do you get to ride a GP circuit??!).

Be forewarned though, it is 175+ mph down the back straight (bring your Brembos), your T1 brake marker is halfway up the hill (bring an extra pair of underpants), and the course is 3.427 miles long (bring some Ibuprorfen). Detailed reports coming soon.

Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved