Ducati’s massive World Ducati Week 2012 got under way yesterday with thousands of riders from all over the world arriving at the Italian manufacturer’s mega-event at the Misano World Circuit in Misano Adriatico. Carlos Checa got a chance to test the World Superbike spec Ducati 1199 Panigale.
With advance ticket sales alone standing at over 18,000, the event, which will run from 21-24 June, looks likely to set a new opening day attendance record. Huge numbers of passionate followers rode in as soon as the gates of the Misano Circuit opened, tripping the counter to record over 30% more visitors than the 2010 edition.
With 60% of WDW-goers from Italy, an impressive 40% of international visitors highlights the global power and appeal of the Ducati brand. Ducatisti are expected to flock in from Europe, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and India and as far away as Brazil, China and Malaysia, all united by the common passion for Ducati and motorcycling.
Ducati have taken on a massive logistical challenge to organise such a packed programme for this year’s four-day event, with the action taking place at the Misano circuit during the day and in nearby Cattolica, Misano and Riccione by night.
Today’s track action included Carlos Checa making a surprise test on the 1199 Panigale Superbike, the World Superbike Champion giving valuable feed-back in the brand new model’s preparation. In addition, Audi provided WDW-goers the opportunity to passenger the highly desirable R8 LMS and R8 V10 in the capable hands of Audi’s professional drivers.
On Saturday, Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Troy Bayliss, Carlos Checa, Davide Giugliano, Sylvain Guintoli and Jakub Smrz will be at WDW2012 to meet the fans, sign autographs, ride the track and then do battle in the Diavel Drag Race by Tudor along the Misano World Circuit start/finish straight.
Immediately after the Drag Race, WDW2012 “by night” will start on the sea-front stage set-up in Piazzale Roma in nearby Riccione for the massive celebration night. With Ducati Factory riders on stage to warm-up the fans, the Ducati All Stars band, featuring world-famous stars like 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) will be ready to go full-gas and deliver a magnificent performance.
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. Ducati have also catered for all those unable to make it to the event covering it live on on the official event website wdw.ducati.com. Providing real-time updates with spectacular photos, videos and interviews with the event’s top stars the website also supports Ducati’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts.