• Crimson_Tide

Counting the number of reasons why I will never tire of  Ducati’s biennial celebration of motorcycles

Words: Vir Nakai

Photography: Ducati

I was asked “What’s so special about World Ducati Week Vir, that this is the third time in a row that you have attended it?” I never thought about it actually and normally would have given a vague answer like “I love the vibe” but I thought maybe a deeper answer was required so here goes.

To start with, I love how the three-day event is super inclusive. It makes no difference if you show up at the gate on a motorcycle made by another manufacturer you are welcomed with the same fervour. You are allowed to park your bike in a sea of Ducatis and no one will ever question you for being on some other machine. This to me is tops. Even better is if you pull up at the gate to buy a ticket and you are a guest from overseas, your entry ticket is waived and Ducati gives you access to the whole three days of the festival for free.

Secondly, I love how World Ducati Week is held in the heart of what is known as Motor valley. Motor valley is the home and birthplace of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pagani, Maserati and last but not the least, Ducati. If that is not enough it’s also the home to four racetracks and one very famous MotoGP rider who once upon a time rode for Ducati as well! So what better place for World Ducati Week to be held than the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on the Adriatic coast, bang in the middle of Motor Valley?

But all that is fine. It’s once you enter the gates of the Misano circuit and see the sea of Red (even though they now make a lot more motorcycles in other colours) that it hits you. WDW is predominantly a sea of Red. You also see bikes from all over the world. The first year here, I met a group that had ridden in from China on their Multistradas and were riding back after the festival was over. What’s cooler than mingling with fellow motorcyclists from all over is mingling with the ladies and gentlemen who run the company - from Claudio Domenicali to Ducati India’s own Managing Director Bipul Chandra hanging out and enjoying the festival together.

But my all-time favourite highlight is when Ducati opens the track on day one and lets everyone at the festival do one lap as a parade. It starts with the senior company staff lining up and then behind them the whole parking lot empties out onto the track (this year there were about 80,000 visitors). Lined up on their motorcycles and they do a slow lap of the 3.4km circuit. This year it took the parade over 30 minutes from the first bike to the last to snake its way around the track - the fastest Ducati lap at Misano is 1 minute, 31.868 seconds held by Jorge Lorenzo! It’s a sight to see and admittedly, never gets old.

On day two the highlight was the Race of Champions, which as the name suggests, has all Ducati riders from MotoGP, Superbike and Supersport championships race against one another on stock Panigale V4 S and Panigale V2s on slick tyres, but running their team livery. Ducati’s senior staff from the world over also put up a brilliant BBQ for the visitors. At the end of the day, a festival is about the people and when you put 80,000 like-minded people together on such hallowed grounds, the vibe is just perfect. There is so much that I haven’t even touched upon, but then, if I told you everything there would not be much for you to go and experience the crimson tide yourself. If you ride motorcycles, this is one festival you must have on your bucket list!

Leave your comment