The dates for World Ducati Week 2020 have been announced this morning, with over 90,000 Ducati enthusiasts expected to attend the biennial event.
Occurring at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli between Friday, 17 July and Sunday, 19 July 2020, this is the 11th time the celebration has taken place.
Although no details are currently available, Ducati say more information will appear on wdw.ducati.com very soon, with the event traditionally seeing the manufacturer’s racing stars competing on one of their production bikes, as well as the unveil of a new model to their line-up.
MCN will bring you more World Ducati Week news as we get it. Take a look below to see what happened last year.
World Ducati Week 2018: MotoGP vs WSB on Panigale V4s
First published: 25.07.18
Ducati MotoGP test rider and Italian superbike man Michele Pirro embarrassed a starstudded line-up including Andrea Dovizioso, Jorge Lorenzo and multiple WSB champ Troy Bayliss to win Ducati’s first Race of Champions at the World Ducati Week at Misano.
Ducati’s MotoGP and WSB riders were pitched against each other on identical V4 Panigales on the same Pirelli tyres with less than 30 minutes practice.
With the least to lose if something went wrong, Pirro took advantage of his track knowledge and his tyre familiarity from Italian superbike racing to trounce the opposition.
Scheduled for eight laps, the race was red-flagged after five laps when a rain shower forced the organisers to play it safe.
But it wouldn’t have changed the result; Pirro’s best lap on what was essentially a standard road bike with a loud silencer and slicks was just 3.7s slower than the fastest lap by a Panigale at this year’s Misano WSB round.
Ruled out of competing in last month’s Italian MotoGP, after a 200mph practice crash it was a perfect return.
"I really wanted this and I really wanted to ride the V4," said Pirro. "It was a good way to come back after my big crash. I loved the bike and it feels so comfortable compared to my MotoGP racer."
Avintia Ducati MotoGP rider Tito Rabat did his best to keep in touch but had to settle for second after a poor start. The action included an absorbing scrap between Xavi Fores, Jack Miller and Marco Melandri which kept the Ducati fans entertained.
"It was loads of fun," said Miller. "There was some good, hard riding out there and I had the thing moving around bigtime."
But the race didn’t go to plan for WSB legend Troy Bayliss. Fourteen years older than any other rider, Bayliss’s form in this year’s Australian Superbike series made him a favourite, but the 49-year old hadn’t raced at Misano for 11 years.
He said: "The motor reminded me of my old MotoGP V4 Ducati. But the race didn’t go to plan. I ran on into the gravel early on and that was the end of that."
Which rider adapted fastest?
The riders had a brief practice and ten-minute qualifying session to get used to the bikes. It was a bigger ask for the MotoGP racers who had to get used to the feel of a production bike as well as the Pirelli slicks, but the plan was originally for even less practice.
"We were going to just draw lots," said Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali. "But more than one rider said: 'How will I be able to win if I’m drawn in last place?'"
So it wasn’t surprising that a man familiar with Pirelli slicks took pole. Pirro stunned with his pace and led the way in qualifying, while Tito Rabat finished second.
Rabat’s pace can be put down to the adaptability gained from a year of swapping between his regular practice bikes at his base in Almeria and his racing machines.
Both riders surprised the opposition. Marco Melandri said "Pirro was two seconds faster a lap. He must be a genius." Not really, it’s just that his experience has made him more adaptable.
Factory GP stars play it safe
With both factory Ducati MotoGP riders still in contention for the title it’s no surprise that Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo wanted to stay out of trouble, especially as the pint-sized racers struggled to adapt to the dimensions of the road bikes.
"It was a crazy race, but I struggled with the footrests and my feet slipped off them a couple of times," said Dovizioso.
Lorenzo never looked like he was trying, carrying less speed into corners. He said: "This is my first, and maybe last, World Ducati weekend. I’m here to enjoy it."
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