Just like the 2007 Campioni in piazza event, Ducati MotoGP Night proved to be a powerful magnet for thousands of fans and enthusiasts, attracting wave after wave of eager spectators who were able to start enjoying the entertainment from the afternoon onwards. Bologna was, quite literally, invaded by crowds of Ducatisti, all converging on Piazza Maggiore.
Before arriving in the square Valentino and Nicky met the workers at Ducati's Borgo Panigale production plant. The enthusiasm that greeted them was incredible. "It's just fantastic to be here" - said Valentino during his visit to Ducati - "We aim to do our utmost to be at the front of the field and get the desired results. I can't thank you enough for all your support; the bikes you build here are simply beautiful. Keep up the great work and we'll try to do the same on the track!"
"Being here is truly special" - stated Nicky Hayden - "I've worked for other companies but Ducati is unique, the bike is exceptional... the people who work on it equally so: we really hope to give you the results you deserve".
The centrepiece stage in the square attracted everyone: Ducatisti on their own or with their clubs, fans from all over Italy, Bologna dwellers, the curious, the racing aficionados and enthusiasts of every age.
Celebrated Italian TV presenters Maddalena Corvaglia and Valerio Staffelli hosted the show, getting things under way with welcome speeches from high-level public figures, who were soon followed by the exhilarating comedians Giacobazzi & Sgrilli, rock-pop band Stadio and, with the evening in full flow, the Ducati MotoGP team and its official riders, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden. They roared onto the stage on their Desmosedicis to join the Monsters already on show there, personalised with the new Ducati Corse graphics in honour of numbers 46 and 69.
"What a fantastic day." - said Gabriele Del Torchio, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, at the end of the evening. "This evening's packed square speaks for itself. The city has responded enthusiastically and, of course, thousands of Ducatisti have come from all over Italy to join us in giving Nicky and Vale a warm welcome and wishing them a great start to the MotoGP 2011 season. Moreover, during this evening's press conference the industrial development officer for the Region of Emilia Romagna, Gian Carlo Muzzarelli, confirmed that the plan for the new production plant has been given the go-ahead: news that allows us to proudly state just how important Ducati is for the regional economy."
With the presentations and the "good luck" well-wishing now over, all we can do is wait for the MotoGP World Championship 2011 to begin and start cheering on our favourite team!