Ducatisti from over 27 countries are arriving at Ducati's massive gathering and invading the Riviera Romagnola on Italy's Adriatic coast, including several Super-Ducatisti who have covered incredible distances to ride through the WDW2012 welcome arch.
Sundeep Gajjar made his big entrance to World Ducati Week 2012 in Misano, Italy today after a mammoth 10,000km (6200 mile) journey aboard his Multistrada 1200 S Touring, originally planned from India through Pakistan, but later forced to re-route from Turkey to Italy via Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia and Austria.
Arriving to a WDW2012 hero's welcome, the 32-year-old Indian's incredible adventure was to have started in Mumbai, India, until political uncertainties had soon undermined Sundeep's confidence of a secure passage into Pakistan. His typical never-give-up approach to Mission Red Planet - so called after Ducati's massive WDW event - then led him to collect a black Ducati Multistrada motorcycle from the UAE Ducati Importer in Dubai with the intention of continuing his journey through Iran. But this solution also failed when Iranian officials observed that the details in the motorcycle's Carnet De Passage were insufficient to guarantee a problem-free exit from the country. Several phone calls later and a flight to Ducati in Turkey and the mission was back on-track with a bright red Multistrada 1200.
Sundeep Gajjar describes himself as a Motographer, a passionate rider of motorcycles and journalistic photographer. He is also an intrepid adventurer and passionate Ducatista and his latest adventure, Mission Red Planet, is an incredible road trip from Dubai to World Ducati Week 2012 in Misano, Italy for the famous Italian motorcycle manufacturer's massive gathering of passionate owners.
"It's an amazing experience and feeling to travel thousands of miles and make a motorcycle literally your cupboard and home for 35 days," said Sundeep Gajjar. "Riding through many different countries, cultures, landscapes and weather taught me a lot more about the world. I was privileged and humbled to see sunsets over the waters of Gallipoli in Turkey where so many battles were fought, to ride some of the world's best roads like Transfagarasan in Romania, Grossglockner in Austria and Stelvio in Italy, to interact with people from different cultures by just using hand gestures and discovering alien landscapes like one in Cappadochia, Turkey. It has been a stupendous 35 days to reach the mecca of Superbiking - World Ducati Week 2012!"
During his mega road-trip, Sundeep rode through temperatures ranging from 47° C in Abu Dhabi to 6° C in Slovakia. He took over 6000 photos along the way and what he describes as enough video for a short documentary. He rode from the desert to the snow-surrounded roads that took him and his Ducati through more than twenty high altitude mountain passes.
Another very special Ducatista is Paolo Pirozzi, president of the Naples Ducati Dreams Club. Here at WDW2012, he has realised the dream of having clocked up 500,000km on his Ducati motorcycles, which all have female names! His ambitious goal was achieved as he passed through the gates of World Ducati Week and celebrated together with the global Ducati community there. Paolo, a man who has ridden Ducatis all over the planet, is a living legend for Ducati fans everywhere, the very symbol of the "Ducati passion" shared by the thousands of enthusiasts descending on Misano for the seventh edition of WDW.
Paolo has already completed a World Tour on Lidia, his Multistrada 1200, passing through no less than 43 countries and totalling a staggering 100,000km. Lidia is just one of four Ducatis that mean a great deal to Pirozzi, motorcycles that have accompanied him on incredible journeys. Together with a Multistrada 620 called Jessica, he covered the 34,000km in just two months from Paris to Beijing. During that journey, in September 2007, Paolo Pirozzi became the first man to cross the Gobi desert on a standard factory motorcycle.
On Nenna, his Monster 900s, Paolo headed off to discover 22 countries, covering a massive 100,000km and last but not least, on Reginella, his Ducati 998R, he notched up an amazing 7000km at the Mugello race circuit. At World Ducati Week 2012 some of these motorcycles are on display at a special Pirozzi-dedicated stand.
The crowded Misano paddock of WDW2012 has plenty of similar stories to tell, like Walter Ponteri, a Milan-born motorcyclist who has so far ridden his year 2000 Monster 900 over 12.400km. For him, every new edition of WDW offers a great opportunity to celebrate the achievement of eating up thousands more kilometres on his Ducati.
With the love of such touring adventures in mind, WDW2012 Tour, which is sponsored by the Republic of San Marino's Secretary of State for Tourism and Sport, provides WDW-goers with the thrill of a shorter-range ride lasting just a few hours, thanks to a series of routes available to those attending the great event. Four tours, each designed to let the rider discover some of the most beautiful roads in the Romagna, are titled Terra dei Motori, Tour Happy Hour Viamaggio, Tour Happy Hour San Marino and Tour Multistrada.
Last minute visitors can purchase WDW2012 tickets at the Misano Circuit ticket office upon arrival.