If I remember correctly the 749 got its ass kicked last year too. As we all know the Ducati line is way overpriced and undeerachivers compared to the Japanese offerrings. Why would Cycle World test a 749R against 600cc bikes ? The displacement is different and then the price disparity of $8500 vs $22000. Like testing a Miata against a Boxster. Ridculous and embarassing for Ducati, they should have never given Cycle World a test bike.
The reality is that the Japanese 600s, 1000s, etc are some of the finest performing bikes that money can buy, they are extremely reliable, and sold at a fantastic price. Thank the Japanese for advance the state of the art. I didn't buy two Ducatis for the reason that thry went around race tracks faster or slower than the competition. I bought them for the same reason that Harley guys buy their bikes, IT DID SOMETHING FOR ME THAT THE OTHERS DIDN'T.