After sitting through a tech crammed launch presentation, Fast Bikes’ Carl Stevens finally got a chance to head out on track and test Bridgestone’s new Battlax R11 race rubber.
With a wide choice of bikes on offer, he opted first of all for a Ducati Panigale 959, and headed out onto the sun-kissed Monteblanco asphalt.
“The first thing I noticed about the rubber, even on my outlap, was how effortlessly the bike wanted to pitch into a corner and murder an apex” said Carl in the December issue of the magazine. “The rubber was hot from the get-go, so there was no delay in searching for elusive tenths as I got a bit ham-fisted with the R11s and started cranking on the throttle at big levels of lean.”
Carl went on to say:
“You could throw excessive load at them and not have to worry about the front end going walkies mid-corner, with stability and precision being showcased by the bucket load. Better still, the tyres proved just as stable on the straights as they were in the bends.”
He was also able to test the tyre, in various compounds, on the latest YZF-R6, YZF-R1M, GSX-R1000 and 1299 Panigale.
“The best thing about that ride was the way the rear tyre dug itself into the tarmac and kicked off unbelievable amounts of traction. I was trying my derriere off to get the back end stepping out, but the only place the tyres threw in the towel was out of the tighter, slower bends, were you were asking unholy things of the Bridgestones. And even then it was only marginal how much they’d slide, despite the track being hot enough to cook an egg. Maybe even bacon too. I clocked a total of thirty laps on that stint, really getting to grips with the new rubber and realising first-hand how brilliant the R11s were. It wasn’t just the outright grip that blew me away, but the brilliance of the entire package. How they handled. How they fed back danger. How they gripped. Hard.”
You can check out Carl’s review in full in the latest issue of Fast Bikes.
The new Battlax R11 is expected to arrive in the UK early next year.