• Video: Ultimate Supercar vs. Superbike Battle: Which is Fastest Around a Track?

  • Ducati 1199 Panigale S Fast, red, Italian and sexy
  • McLaren MP4-12C Fast, sort of red, British, but would you call it sexy?
  • It's All in the Details
  • Car vs. Bike When on track together, it's very difficult to pass, especially as car and bike are so closely matched
  • Ducati Sets a Time Cadwell Park is tight and sinuous and the Ducati can use its acceleration to best effect
  • Car Sets a Time Car can brake later and harder and there's not much in it, but the bike takes the victory by a hair

Ducati Panigale 1199S vs. McLaren MP4-12C Around Cadwell Park

Put a car and a bike on the same track and they should be pretty evenly matched: the bike can accelerate quicker but the car can brake later and harder and, in theory, corner faster. But there has to be a winner and, in this time trial between a Ducati Panigale 1199S and a McLaren MP4-12C around the tight and tortuous Cadwell Park in the UK, it’s closer than you might think.

Ducati Panigale 1199S vs. McLaren MP4-12C

Car vs. bike videos are always great because the bike normally wins which, given that this section of topspeed.com is all about bikes, is generally considered a Good Thing.

Video: Ultimate Supercar vs. Superbike Battle: Which is Fastest Around a Track?
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Ducati 1199 Panigale S
Fast, red, Italian and sexy

The other reason they’re good is that they normally involve the best bikes and cars in the world. As far as I can tell, no-one has bothered to organise a race between a BMW G310 and a Volkswagen Polo, thankfully. We’d all be dead with boredom before it was over.

Video: Ultimate Supercar vs. Superbike Battle: Which is Fastest Around a Track?
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McLaren MP4-12C
Fast, sort of red, British, but would you call it sexy?

So, here we have the Ducati Panigale 1199S in all its Italian glory, with an 1199cc v-twin producing 195bhp and 97.4lb.ft of torque going head-to-head against the ever-so-British McLaren MP4-12C with its 3.8-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 developing 592bhp and 443lb.ft of torque.

Video: Ultimate Supercar vs. Superbike Battle: Which is Fastest Around a Track?
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It’s All in the Details

Then, there’s the venue. Cadwell Park race track in the UK is narrow, sinuous and insanely fast and frightening. British Superbikes race there and this video shows you just how mad it is.

Video: Ultimate Supercar vs. Superbike Battle: Which is Fastest Around a Track?
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Car vs. Bike
When on track together, it’s very difficult to pass, especially as car and bike are so closely matched

Because it’s so narrow and because the gap between the car and the bike is so small, it would be too dangerous to run together, let alone the virtual impossibility of one getting past the other given the parity of performance and lack of room so, it’s a race against the clock.

Video: Ultimate Supercar vs. Superbike Battle: Which is Fastest Around a Track?
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Ducati Sets a Time
Cadwell Park is tight and sinuous and the Ducati can use its acceleration to best effect

The bike has the car beaten hands-down on acceleration and top speed along the straights, but the car can brake much later and harder and matches the bike in corner speed. It’s going to be nip and tuck around one of the UK’s best race tracks.

Video: Ultimate Supercar vs. Superbike Battle: Which is Fastest Around a Track?
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Car Sets a Time
Car can brake later and harder and there’s not much in it, but the bike takes the victory by a hair
Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Motorcycling Contributor
Born and raised in England, he has lived in South Africa with his family since 2002. Harry has owned examples of Triumph, Norton, BSA, MV Agusta, Honda, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki and Moto Morini motorcycles. He regrets selling all of them.  Read full bio
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