The great Ducati gathering, World Ducati Week, was held from July 20-22, and brought together tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world in Misano, Italy.
The second day of the spectacular Ducati event was preceded by a “hot” opening Friday: at the end of the day, thousands hit the road to participate in the parade that first took a lap of the circuit and then formed a long and colorful convoy of motorcycles that made its way to Rimini, which welcomed the Ducatisti with music, food and entertainment the “rustida” and Scrambler Beach Party energised by DJ sets from Virgin Radio.
In the morning, Claudio Domenicali, Ducati’s CEO, opened the second day of WDW2018 by meeting with numerous international journalists attending the event.
“World Ducati Week is a big party”, said Domenicali, Ducati CEO. “A celebration for all Ducatisti that every two years brings us all together to share the passion for this unique brand. Ducati has a great past, last WDW edition we celebrated our 90th anniversary, but also an extraordinary present with a fantastic range of products. Thanks to the most beautiful motorcycles in our history, we can continue to grow, sharing emotions and achievements with our fans. Emotions like the flyover of the Frecce Tricolore just before the start of the Race of Champions, or entering the circuit this morning. Something special, unique, powerful, which is the confirmation that I am part of a community of women and men who work and share – along with tens of thousands of Ducatisti who have traveled to the Adriatic Riviera – the pride of belonging to this historical and prestigious brand. There are so many of us, yesterday 30 percent more than in 2016, and we expect this 10th edition to set a new record.”
For the WDW2018 participants’ there are countless activities and initiatives scheduled: areas dedicated to the various motorcycle families, dynamic test rides, rides on the track, exhibitions, contests, stunt riding, music and lots of fun.
The highlight of Saturday was when – after a spectacular flyover by the Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team – the Race of Champions started.
The race saw 12 Ducati MotoGP and SBK Champions competing on the Misano circuit riding Panigale V4 S specially prepared with racing configurations and dedicated liveries. A true race, with the support of Locman as “Official Timekeeper,” with riders giving their all to win the podium, putting on a show without equal that only Ducati can offer.
After the free practice sessions and qualifying rounds to establish the starting grid, the race saw Michele Pirro, who started at pole position, immediately taking the lead, setting a pace that allowed him to extend his advantage over the group of pursuers. A spectacular comeback by Rabat who had a bad start but ended up taking second place after a series of duels and beautiful overtakings with Melandri, Miller and Fores, who fired up the spectators at the Misano World Circuit and fans tuned in live on SKY with emotions worthy of a world competition. Miller, Melandri and Rinaldi followed in order, then Dovizioso, Siméon, Petrucci, Lorenzo, Abraham and Bayliss to complete the exceptional line-up of the Race of Champions.
The rain – which fortunately stopped falling after a few minutes – forced the checkered flag at the sixth lap, two laps ahead of time, but didn’t detract from the great show and the victory of the Ducati MotoGP Team test rider.
At the end of the race the riders greeted the public with spectacular burn-outs, singeing all the Pirelli tires of the Panigale V4 S dedicated to each rider.
Fans can bid on the 12 Panigale V4 S from the Race of Champions, plus the thirteenth of Chaz Davies, who has not competed due to injury, on eBay. The close of bidding is scheduled for Saturday, July 28, at 6 p.m. (CEST).