Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WDW 2012, A visit to the Planet of Champions.

I see Red!  

By Mark Cernicky/ Photo’s; Ducati 

Fancy Red? WDW—World Ducati Week can fill your cup till it runneth over…on to wet bike washing bikini girls, umbrella totting Effenbert beer dancing girls, turbine forced crowd soaking water-sprayer, a perfect way to keep the scantly-clad “ladies” and shirtless dudes cool in the extremely hot weather experienced that June 21-24th, in Misano Italy. That’s not all the 65,000 total Ducatisti who traveled from USA, Australia, Brasil, China, Russia, India and Malaysia, Gabon, Iceland, Nepal…and those in who made the commute, in leather suites from the neighboring Euro zone to the Planet of Champions, there was a lot more.

Once at Champions at Misano World Circuit one needn’t go any further than the International village—just the other side of the parking lot— whose circus sized canopy corners where cordoned off by representatives from the corners of the world. Center, a stage for cutlery diverse inspired Rock-and-Roll born in the USA! And I was just happened to be in time for tea and an accompanying rendition of God Save the Queen by the Brits there in force; raised a celebratory salute to the Queen and a rest in the shade after some scorching-hot-laps of Misano World Circuit, with Dominique Cheraki, General Manager of Ducati North America, on a couple 848 EVO’s.                
Droves of belt-drive Desmo valve trains, thunder of flocking Duc’s with the occasional wail from a low fly D16 filled the air with a symphony of mechanic music,  while MX freestyler’s flew through it. And when at rest mini-motards raced round the base of the ramp to ramp jumps.
Misano Circuit circulation never ceased, from DRE —Ducati Riding Experience track school, Master Academy led by Troy Bayliss himself, Ducatisti could sign up for track test rides on Panigale, for lucky limited number, first come first serve session on their own bikes. UK 848EVO series I chatted with Neil Hogdson, ambassador of the all Ducati championship who was there for the “Lap of Champions”. Practicing qualifying for the 848 EVO's ran between the factory, Corsa team factory Superbike teams “demonstration laps”. You could even sign up for a ride in an Audi R8. Saturday tracktivities ended with stunt show before the Tudor Diavel elimination drag races on the front straight that saw Troy Bayliss vanquish Valentino Rossi in the final…Nicky Hayden 3rd, followed by Carlos Checa         
From morning till night, three days I saw red and still didn’t have enough time to take it all in…I tried. Would have liked to get a chance to go on a street ride on the Hypermoto Sp with group organizer who did so…for a small price; missed the Brit-back- roads gaunt due to interview scheduling… even missed a first hand account of the bikini bike wash and the speedway races, there was too much to do!
Home to the WDW, Misano World Circuit is short a short ride from the Adriatic coastline where there are plenty of hotels beach side resorts restraints a hive of night time activity streets blocked for pedestrianisation till wee hours of the night when eyes turn red. After some rest, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to return to the Plant of Champions in 2014.

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