BOLOGNA, Italy - The Ducati 899 Panigale was presented to the news media at the Ducati factory in Bologna, Italy, a few days after its preview at the VW Group Night in Frankfurt, Germany, ahead of the 2013 Frankfurt auto show.The Italian motorcycle company is part of the Audi Group, of which VW is also a part.Ducati Motor Holding’s recently appointed CEO Claudio Domenicali explained the new 899 Panigale model in detail and, a year after from the Audi Group acquisition, provided the first official overview of progress achieved by the company despite a challenging and delicate European motorcycle market.TWO YEARS' RECORD SALES“Ducati achieved record sales in 2011 and 2012," he said, "with more than 44 000 motorcycles delivered. Despite the current market dip, we have almost equalled those sales for the first six months of 2013 and, with the introduction of new models in the second half of the year, we're expecting positive results.Image gallery“The new Hyperstrada became available in showrooms from early June while the 899 Panigale will become available in October 2013. With 90% of our production now being exported, the US has firmly taken over from Italy as our top market, leading us to believe that our growth trend will continue throughout 2014."As for racing, we certainly cannot claim to be happy with the current results, but our goal is to bridge the gap that currently separates us from the leaders. We are already working on the new Desmosedici for 2014, when we want to be in a position to fight for podium finishes."But back to the new 899 Panigale...'SAFE - AND GREAT FUN!'Domenicali said: “The 899 Panigale is a prime example of the technological excellence of our motorcycles, the reward of what we call ‘performance redefined’, a modern, innovative sports motorcycle which uses ground-breaking technology to ingeniously adjust to everyday use."It's user-friendly, safety-enhanced and great fun. A motorcycle as thrilling as only a Ducati can be. This important concept will carry on into our future production and our range expansion plans, focusing on the concept of performance that we intend to extend upwards to create even more sophisticated, race-derived models, and downwards to cater for the market of 'easier' and more accessible models.”"The 899 Panigale made its first public appearance at the San Marino Republic round of the 2013 MotoGP championship on Sunday September 15."The 899 Panigale," Ducati says, "is the start of a new era for Ducati superbikes and intended to provide a new way to access that exclusive world. The Panigale is a 'supermid' version of the award-winning 1199 Panigale, designed to provide the thrill of the new generation flagship with the refined character of an street bike."DNA IN SILHOUETTEIts new Superquadro engine has a revised bore/stroke for a broad power/torque delivery of 109kW/98Nm and is a fully stressed member of the innovative Panigale monocoque construction, achieving both an outstanding power-to-weight ratio and ride-enhancing agility with a dry weight of 169kg.An 1199 silhouette underlines the family DNA and the bikes comes with Ducati Quick Shift and 'ride mode' technologies, three-stage anti-lock brakes and traction control."Ducati now offers all-round performance for connoisseurs," the bikemakers says, "an authentic and stylish way to enter the world of high performance. The 899 Panigale will be available from late October in Europein traditional Ducati red with black wheels or a stunning arctic white silk with red wheels.