Milan, Day 1: Ducati Press Conference
There was champagne. And escargot. There may have been caviar, too; I’m not sure. Reporters and photographers, 99.5% of whom were dudes (I only count for a half-percent), seem to dig free food as much as the next guy (or girl), and the good stuff went fast. Of course, the really good stuff was the fast stuff, and I think we all pretty satisfied with that. The Teatro Dal Verme, decked in red and packed with press, looked more like Mann’s Chinese Theater on Oscar night. Rightfully so: the stars of the show, Ducati’s new 2012 motorcycles awaited the paparazzi, all there to catch a first glimpse before the official press-days at the International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan this week.
Ducati’s top brass was on hand to deliver the presentation, including CEO and President of Ducati Motor Holding Gabriele Del Torchio, and Production Designer and CEO of Ducati Corse, Claudio Domenicali.
And of course, what would a Ducati press conference be without a famous racer or two? Like WSBK Champion, Carlos Checa.
But the real stars of the show were the bikes. The 2012 lineup is sure to continue the red storm that’s sweeping the industry. The 848 EVO Tri-colore (my personal favorite) is just flat-out beautiful, and the Diavel AMG commands attention, but it was the main attraction of the 1199 Panigale that really took everyone’s breath away. The all-new liter-sized superbike is sure to be the must-have bike of the year, with an impressive set of features like ABS, traction control, separate performance modes for street and track, and a mind-blowing 200-hp with a wet weight (yes, wet weight) of a scant 177kg. Oh…my…god. Can you say ‘vroom’? How ’bout ‘whoosh’? Try ‘see ya’!
And, if there wasn’t anything yet that got you going, the intro for the 1199 Panigale sure as hell did: 1199 Intro
Screw austerity, right?
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