World Ducati Week 2016

The WDW legend continues.

Thousands of Ducatisti are now celebrating the ninth edition of World Ducati Week at Misano World Circuit "Marco Simoncelli" which promises to be the biggest global celebration of Ducati for those passionate about the Italian motorcycle brand.

Since the first event 18 years ago, WDW has attracted enormous crowds whose Ducati motorcycles overflowed the parking area like a sea of red.

WDW 2016
Opening day of World Ducati Week 2016.©Motorcyclist

WDW 1998 – The inaugural event was an enormous success. That first year saw 5,000 motorcycles and 6,000 participants from America, Germany, Belgium, Italy, England, Holland and Austria in addition to visitors from as far away as Japan, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Singapore.

Many attendees came to the Santa Monica circuit to ride their bikes with Ducati's factory racers at the time: Carl Fogarty, Troy Corser, PierFrancesco Chili and Paolo Casoli. The Ducati factory Superbike team captivated the crowd throughout the weekend along with a demonstration put on by the Minardi Formula 1 racing team. These were two of the most significant events held that first Ducati Weekend.

For the grand finale, a parade of 5,000 motorcycles stretching over 12 kilometers long rode from Sant'Arcangelo di Romagna to the Parco Nord in Bologna, where 4,000 more Ducati fans joined to take part in a lottery, with a Ducati Monster being the grand prize. The first World Ducati Weekend concluded in the Piazza Maggiore of Bologna, with a concert by the band “Simple Minds” put on free of charge by Ducati.

WDW2016 Italian Air Force
Italian Air Force fighters in formation over MotoGP factory riders Andrea Iannone, Andrea Dovizioso, test rider Casey Stoner, WorldSBK riders Chaz Davies and Davide Gugliano.©Motorcyclist

WDW 2000 – Two years later, in June 2000, Ducati put on the second WDW. This time 23,000 visitors on 17,000 motorcycles turned up at Santa Monica, Misano to take part in the festivities where they saw the official delivery of the first three MH900 Evolutions to their proud new owners, a wedding, a charity auction organized by Sotheby's, a Pasta Party in the paddock sponsored by Barilla and more.

WDW 2002 – For the third edition in 2002, the World Ducati Weekend became World Ducati Week with more than seven days of festivities, held at the Misano race track and the Parco del Mare Le Navi, Cattolica; with its beachside activities. For the seven days of the festival, 25,000 fans literally invaded the roads of the most famous Adriatic beach resorts. WDW 2002 attracted more than 20,000 Ducati motorcycles.

Seminars on Ducati technology, hot laps on the track with the factory test riders, and the introduction of the Desmosedici Grand Prix motorcycle which would race in the MotoGP World Championship were just a few highlights that made the week an unforgettable experience for everyone. Amongst the star attractions, the three Ducati 2002 Superbike World Championship riders were also there: Troy Bayliss, Ben Bostrom and Ruben Xaus.

Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali at WDW2016.
Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali at WDW2016.©Motorcyclist

WDW 2004 – The 2004 World Ducati Week continued the trend of being bigger and better. For the first time in WDW history, races were held at the track Monday through Sunday. In fact, the track itself was a highlight of the 2004 WDW, as it was also open for Ducatisti to lap daily between the featured races.

Other highlights of World Ducati Week 2004 included: test rides of the entire Ducati range; rider appearances by Lanzi, Chili, Haga, Toseland, Guareschi, Bayliss and Capirossi; a fashion show featuring Ducati apparel; a concert by Irene Grandi; and Desmosedici Biposto rides with Randy Mamola to benefit Riders for Health.

2004 was also a year of record attendance for WDW, with over 45,000 registered Ducatisti, and additional non-registered spectators. It was at WDW2004 that Ducati announced its intention to develop a road going version of the Desmosedici Grand Prix motorcycle, the first motorcycle of its kind to be produced by any manufacturer. For many Ducatisti in attendance it was a dream come true.

Scrambler Sixty2 carousel
The Scrambler Sixty2 carousel at WDW2016.©Motorcyclist

WDW 2007 – The fifth edition of the WDW grew even bigger in 2007, as the passionate Italian company took the massive Ducati party to an even higher level of motorcycling fun. The 'Red Planet' – as the event was titled - saw the first-ever public test of the road-going Desmosedici RR by official MotoGP team test rider, Vittoriano Guareschi. The highly technological 989cc L-4 became the flag-ship of the range and raised the heart rates of everyone who witnessed that first high speed ride-by.

Non-stop action on the track was supplied by the Desmosedici MotoGP two-seater and the 4th round of Ducati’s very own mono-marque championship, the Ducati Desmo Challenge. While stuntmen and a Ducati dragster put on a fantastic show, the Ducati Riding Experience riding school gave official Ducati tuition and official factory riders Loris Capirossi, Casey Stoner, Troy Bayliss and Lorenzo Lanzi took to the track to do some high-speed demonstration laps.

With around 50,000 visitors over the 4 days plus 500,000 more visitors online, 2007 set another fantastic record.

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Scott REDDING (45) of the OCTO Pramac Yakhnich MotoGP team wins the Diavel Carbon drag race at WDW 2016.©Motorcyclist

WDW 2010 – World Ducati Week number six took place three years later in 2010 with a record-breaking attendance of 60,000 motorcyclists. Held at the Misano World Circuit on the Adriatic Riviera, the theme of the celebration was entitled the Red Planet Returns.

While Italian Ducatisti made up 60 percent of the total attendance at WDW2010, the remaining passionate Ducati fans travelled from 28 nations and 5 continents to underline the huge international appeal of the Ducati brand.

The highlight of 2010 was a spectacular knock-out drag race competition that featured Ducati MotoGP and Superbike team riders aboard Ducati Streetfighters. True to form, the eight riders — Battaini, Bayliss, Byrne, Checa, Fabrizio, Haga, Hayden and Stoner - put on a fantastic show from the moment they left the pit garages. World Superbike Ducati Xerox Team rider, Noriyuki Haga won the photo-finish final, just fractions of a second ahead of American former MotoGP Champion, Nicky Hayden, with Troy Bayliss in 3rd and Casey Stoner in 4th.

Andrea Dovizioso flat track win
Andrea Dovizioso takes the win in the Flat Track Pro race at WDW2016.©Motorcyclist

WDW 2012 – The seventh World Ducati Week was called The Planet of the Champions. With an 65,000 visitors over four days, WDW2012 has been the biggest ever. Approximately 30 percent were international visitors from 52 countries, further highlighting the global power and appeal of the Ducati brand and its motorcycles.

Of the four days of track action, Saturday's Drag Race by Tudor featured Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Troy Bayliss, Carlos Checa, Jakub Smrz, Sylvain Guintoli, Niccolò Canepa and Lorenzo Zanetti, all engaged in friendly but fierce competition on the drag-strip along the Misano start straight.

The early elimination stages of the competition saw Ducatisti favorites Valentino Rossi and Troy Bayliss go through to the 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.

Ducatisti arriving at Misano Circuit for WDW2016.©Motorcyclist

WDW 2014 – The eighth edition of World Ducati Week equalled the record set back in 2012 when WDW was a 4-day event. Participants arrived from five continents and 56 different countries.

World Ducati Week 2014 marked the introduction of a new brand for Ducati and WDW was the venue for its official presentation. Those in attendance had the exclusive opportunity of a sneak preview of the long-awaited Scrambler Ducati prototype.

The paddock area of the “Marco Simoncelli” World Misano Circuit hosted the Superbike Celebration, a display of the bikes that have made Ducati history in the World Superbike Championship.

The ninth edition of WDW is set to break more attendance records with a program celebrating Ducati’s 90th anniversary.