“Ducati's heart is red”, with these words, Claudio Domenicali, the company's CEO, presented WDW that, now in its ninth edition, is experiencing record attendance, “we already sold 50% more tickets during pre-sales”.
Choosing Misano as the setting for the event is no coincidence, and the track where the fans are enjoying themselves is the same at which a certain Casey Stoner had fun during testing just a few days ago.
So it's impossible to not talk about MotoGP and the win that is still to be achieved.
“We are investing more than ever in the racing world, from both a technological and sporting point of view, even though luck has not been on our side - underlines the manager - Having not yet managed to win leaves us somewhat disappointed, not so much because we've unable to achieve it, but because we've come so close on many occasions. We have the potential, but we've wasted opportunities and that is regretful”.
Some say that to achieve it, you just need to convince Stoner to compete in a race…
“It's not that simple, Casey is very strong but he's no longer actively racing - explains Domenicali - He'd have to line up against those who are used to racing every two weekend and the MotoGP champions are no less talented than him. Stoner wants to be a test rider and is helping us, also over the last days. We've sat down with him, we've talked at length, but not about a wildcard”.
While Australia is a dream, Spain is in the immediate future, with the arrival of Lorenzo.
“What do I expect from Jorge? That he brings his talent and experience to allow us to take another step forward. As I've said, we've come very close to a win in many races, we just need a litte more. Lorenzo will help Gigi (Dall’Igna) to develop the bike and improve those small details that are not quite 100% yet. Then he'll play his part and this will undoubtedly make us more competitive”.
As it awaits success on track, Ducati enjoys its continuing commercial success. The brand is expanding, starting with the Indian, Brazilian and Chinese markets, and “in the first 6 months of this year, in a global market that is essentially flat, we've experienced 7% growth” states the CEO with pride.
The latest new bike, coming in 2017, has been unveiled to the fans at WDW - the new Supersport.
“It will be officially presented at EICMA in Milan - he explains - It's a non-extreme sports road bike, with a 936 engine, very accessible in terms of its weight, ergonomics and price, but with no compromise”.
This is the latest gamble coming after the Scrambler (of which 27,000 units have sold, allowing Ducati to reach a total of 54,000 bikes sold last year) and the company's entry into the world of enduro.
Just one doubt remains... who will Ducati support this evening, Italy or Germany?
“We're Italian with German shareholders but we have the Italian flag on the bike, I leave you to work it out” responds Domenicali with a laugh.