Right away Polen was up to speed, clicking off a series of 1:55s despite having to thread his way through heavy traffic. (Last we heard the lap record, set by Jeff Tigert on a Honda CBR1000RR Superbike, stood at 1:46.5.) After his first 20-minute session, we sat Doug down and debriefed him. "The neatest thing about the 999 is its powerband," he said. "It's very rideable, very smooth, very linear. There's no big hit anywhere, so no matter where you are on the racetrack-slow corners, fast corners-when you roll the throttle on, it goes. It's tractable no matter what the rpm or speed. The chassis is nice, too. It's not the fastest-handling with how it's set up now, but it's real smooth, it's hooked up and stable, so overall it's a nice ride."