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A record-breaking 65,000 enthusiastic visitors celebrated at WDW2012

A record-breaking 65,000 enthusiastic visitors celebrated at WDW2012

As the seventh edition of World Ducati Week comes to a close, the famous Italian motorcycle manufacturer prepares to return to its Bologna base having enjoyed an incredibly successful event which broke all previous WDW records.

Held at the World Misano Circuit in Italy, the massive WDW2012 gathering, entitled The Planet of the Champions, ran from Thursday to Sunday, 21-24 June and attracted thousands of passionate Ducati owners from all over the world.

With an incredible 65,000 visitors over four days, WDW2012 has been the biggest ever. Approximately 30% were international visitors from the likes of USA, Europe, Australia, Russia, India, Brazil, China and Malaysia and with countries such as Gabon, Iceland and Nepal in addition, the event further highlighted the global power and appeal of the Ducati brand and the truly global passion for its motorcycles.

Of the four days of track action, Saturday's Drag Race by Tudor is sure to go down in WDW history as one of the most exciting and close-fought competitions yet. Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Troy Bayliss, Carlos Checa, Jakub Smrz, Sylvain Guintoli, Niccolò Canepa and Lorenzo Zanetti all enjoyed some friendly, but fierce competition on the drag-strip along the Misano start straight. The early elimination stages of the competition saw Ducatisti favourites Valentino Rossi and Troy Bayliss go through to the exclusive final show-down in front of a huge WDW evening crowd. Bayliss got the best launch from his Diavel and tripped the timing lights at 6.306 seconds to win the magnificent Drag Race by Tudor by just 0.023 of a second ahead of Rossi with Hayden third and Checa fourth.

Immediately after the Drag Race the riders moved to the Piazzale Roma in nearby Riccione where an estimated 10,000 fans saw them join Gabriele Del Torchio (President of Ducati), Claudio Domenicali (Ducati General Manager), Filippo Preziosi (Ducati Corse General and Technical Director), Ernesto Marinelli (Superbike Project Manager), Alessandro Cicognani (MotoGP Project Manager) and Vittoriano Guareschi (Ducati Team Manager) on the massive stage set-up for the Saturday night spectacular. After the presentation, the stage was set for a spectacular performance from the Ducati All Stars, featuring Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses) Franky Perez (Pusher Jones) Steve Stevens (Billy Idol band), Billy Morrison (The Cult) and Isaac Carpenter (Loaded). The show finished by “wowing” the thousands of Ducatisti with a massive fireworks display over the Riccione beach-front venue, further confirming the success of the WDW “by night” events outside of the circuit, with events such as Thursday night’s beach party in Cattolica and Friday night’s “Speed Show” in Misano Adriatico.

WDW2012 event visitors have been treated to an incredibly packed program including the prestigious Ducati Riding Experience track school with the Troy Bayliss Academy and Master Racing Courses aboard Ducati’s brand new 1199 Panigale. In addition, the Ducati University provided an interesting insight to the design and engineering of Ducati motorcycles and Paul Smart was in attendance to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of his history-making 1972 Imola 200 victory. Audi and Lamborghini added a little extra adrenaline with the former providing WDW-goers the opportunity to passenger the highly desirable R8 LMS and R8 V10 in the capable hands of Audi’s professional drivers.

Press release courtesy of Ducati Team

MotoGP, 2012

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