Simple answer? The rider makes all the difference. I've seen guys get on beat-up 996's and 998's and destroy 1198R's. A well prepped 998 will work just as well as a modern one, without a doubt. Ya just gotta be willing to push harder then your competition. Straights are critical, but honestly I was never too far away down the straights on my 749R in the heavyweight classes. Make up time on the corner exit and under breaking, just gotta out-ride you competitors.