For most of the world, Sonoma, CA, is known for one thing: wine. For motorcyclists, however, the area is equally famous for the eponymous raceway that sits at the southern end of this fertile grape-growing region.
Draped onto a hillside within sight of the San Pablo Bay, Sonoma Raceway is as technical as a string-and-ring puzzle. Corner speed, rhythm, and precision are more critical here than horsepower, which is one of the reasons the circuit is a favorite for racers on bikes like the Kawasaki Ninja 300, Yamaha R3, and KTM RC390.
That last machine is the small-bore sportbike that Senior Road Test Editor Ari Henning took on as his long-term testbike last summer, and it's been his mission to make the little RC live up to KTM's "Ready to Race" slogan. After months of development, the KTM has become a quite the track tool.
In this onboard video from an American Federation of Motorcyclists race at Sonoma Raceway, Ari takes the RC390 from a fourth-row start to the front of the pack—and sets a new track record for the Ligthweight Twins class in the process.