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.
WDW by numbers
65,000 visitors across four days
11,520 laps of Misano made by motorcycles and cars in four days
61 different activities performed on track in four days
8 Ducati race teams
66,000 photos taken by official photograhers
32 hours of WDW TV shown
40 tweets per minute
4 terabyte of video recorded during the event
17 concerts performed (15 paddock, 1 Cattolica, 1 Riccione)
52 nations represented
300 metres of BBQ at the Cattolica beach party
WDW2012's event Main Partners were Effenbert, Pirelli and Tudor and the event Official Car Partner, Audi. Event Official Partners included Arai, Arrex Curva Rossa, Bellenda, Cartorama, Cantine Ceci, Dainese, Ducati Caffè, "Fight for me Ducati", Nilox, Shell Advance, TIM and Wurth. Ducati's long list of partners were also supported by the valuable contributions of Aci Global, Adecco, Artsofbrands, Fiam, Garelli and SDA.
The entire Riviera Romagnola has followed Ducati's passionate WDW2012 event with local authorities opening-up the roads for thousands of Ducatis to follow the procession into the beach-front "WDW by-night" events. Partnerships with institutions, organisations and authorities involved in the event provided a valuable contribution to its success. The Province of Rimini, Municipality of Misano, Municipality of Cattolica, Municipality of Riccione, and the Republic of San Marino, in addition to the special relationship and sponsorship of the Spanish Tourist Board, enabled the thousands of fans arriving from all over the world, to help promote its own regions.
The association with the Leardini Group provided a high quality catering service in Adriatic Riviera style, and the Adria Congrex organisational support. The stunning Misano World Circuit, hosted its seventh World Ducati Week, providing the dream venue for this uniquely thrilling event and the platform on which all these passionate partnerships have been built.