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"Ducati night" for Vale and Nicky in Bologna

Over 38,000 people pack Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore to support the Ducati Marlboro Team. Music, spectacle, emotion and incredible passion for the Borgo Panigale team.

The evening of March 4 was a triumph of emotions, helping to warm the crowd that gathered in Piazza Maggiore to see Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and the Desmosedici GP11. Over 38,000 attendees came from all over Italy to cheer on the Ducati Marlboro Team.

Before heading to the square, Valentino and Nicky met the enthusiastic employees of the Borgo Panigale company. “It’s really nice to be here,” Valentino Rossi said during his Ducati visit today. “We’ll do everything we can to finish at the front and do a good job. Thanks for the great support; the bikes that you make here are beautiful. Please keep doing a good job, and we’ll try to do the same on the track.”

“It’s really special to be here,” confirmed Nicky Hayden. “I’ve worked for other companies, but Ducati is unique; the bike is special, and the people who work here are special. Now let’s hope we can give you the results that you all deserve.”

Radio DEEJAY—the event’s official media partner—had the job of “warming up” the audience in the square, which they did with a pre-show spectacle that included music and games led by two of the station’s most beloved personalities, “Pina and Diego.”

With the 2011 World Championship opener fast-approaching—the first race is scheduled in Qatar on March 20—Ducati wanted to share this important moment with its fans. Performances were turned in by a cast of artists who are also Ducati enthusiasts. Valerio Staffelli and Maddalena Corvaglia were the announcers for the show, whose high point was the on-stage appearance of the Ducati Marlboro Team and Valentino and Nicky, aboard their race bikes. The evening was kicked off by comedians Giuseppe Giocabazzi and Sergio Sgrilli, while musical group Stadio played their most popular hits.

At 9:45 p.m., the unmistakable sound of the Desmosedici GP11’s desmodromic engine made it clear that the evening was hitting high gear. Following the appearance of the Ducati Marlboro Team, the riders arrived on stage aboard their bikes, and the square—by then crowded than ever—responded with a thunderous ovation.

“This has been a truly fantastic day,” said Gabriele Del Torchio, Ducati Motor Holding President, at the end of the evening. “The packed square that we’ve seen tonight speaks for itself. The city has responded enthusiastically, and many, many ducatisti have come from all over Italy to help us celebrate Nicky, Vale, and the start of the 2011 MotoGP season. During this evening’s press conference, Industry Councillor for the Emilia Romagna region, Gian Carlo Muzzarelli, officially signed the protocol that will allow us to begin work on a new plant here, confirming the importance of Borgo Panigale as our headquarters. We’re planning an establishment with a total area of 134,600 square meters (15% larger than the current site), 55,000 square meters of floor area of which 13,500 square meters will be office and educational/communication/services (museums, foundations, auditorium, cafeteria), and 41,500 square meters for production, R&D, Ducati Corse and warehouses, with the possibility of building an additional 11,000 square meters of floor space for future expansion. The company has embarked on an important globalization project to seize opportunities that arise in markets around the world. Bologna will remain at the center, however. Borgo Panigale will be the company’s head, its heart, but also its hands. It’s not that we’re unaware of the opportunities for globalization these days, but Borgo Panigale’s role will always be one of strategic importance. It’s extremely satisfying to be able to make such an announcement on this magical evening.”

Ducati MotoGP Night enjoyed the support of important partners that agreed to attach their names and images to this exceptional evening.

INTESA SANPAOLO and CARISBO, the local bank group that is regularly involved in the world of sport and the values that it represents, enthusiastically accepted Ducati’s invitation.

Having formalized the presence of its logo on the Ducati Marlboro Team’s bikes and its riders’ leathers, MERCEDES-AMG was pleased to collaborate, actively participating in Ducati MotoGP Night.

Completing the group of official partners were GENERALI INSURANCE and TIM, who confirmed their faith in the motorcycle manufacturer from Borgo Panigale.

In addition, other important collaborators included Bologna’s Villalba Private Clinic, Bologna Congresses and Bologna Trade Shows, together with CO.TA.BO, which provided the taxis used in the celebration of the approaching MotoGP season. In the days leading up to the event, over 100 vehicles were decorated with Ducati MotoGP Night graphics, lending additional resonance on Bologna’s streets.

A new collaboration between Ducati and the Emilia Romagna region was launched in conjunction with Ducati MotoGP Night, resulting in the Motor Valley brand embarking on a world tour, starting from Piazza Maggiore and continuing around the world to the events on the 2011 MotoGP calendar.

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