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Rossi, Hayden appear at Ducati MotoGP Night

Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden appear in front of 38,000 fans at 'Ducati MotoGP Night'.
Over 38,000 fans turned out to see Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden during a special 'Ducati Night' pre-season send-off party at Bologna's Piazza Maggiore, ahead of the 2011 MotoGP season.

“It's really nice to be here,” said Rossi, during an earlier visit to the nearby Ducati factory. “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 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.”

The evening party was kicked off by comedians Giuseppe Giocabazzi and Sergio Sgrilli, while musical group Stadio played their hits.

The high-point was the on-stage appearance of Rossi and Hayden aboard their GP11 race bikes, which will be used for the first time in anger at Qatar on March 20.

At 9:45 p.m., the unmistakable sound of the Desmosedici's desmodromic engine was heard and, following the appearance of the Ducati Marlboro Team, the riders arrived on stage aboard their bikes, and the square 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…

Related Pictures

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Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden at Ducati Night (Ducati Corse Press)
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scorpio46 - Unregistered

March 06, 2011 1:26 PM

Forgive me but I thought this site was for motorcycle racing fans not armchair racers/critics. Bike racing is about the spectacle as a whole which includes all the riders who line up on the grid, they deserve our respect for riding these amazing machines.I have been a bike racing fan for 45 years and have seen a lot of spectacular racing but I have never heard so much hostility and lack of respect as I have on this site from people who wouldn't get to the first corner on one of these machines. Whether you like him or not VR has done more for racing both on and off the track than other rider for many a year. He has nothing to prove to anyone and if he wants to jump on another bike it is to be admired, so what if he doesn't win a race this year the fact that he still wants to go out and race is enough for me. Best of luck to all the riders and stay safe, I look forward to an interesting season.

Paul - Unregistered

March 06, 2011 10:38 AM

The tone in some of the comment sections relating to Ducati and more to the point Valentino Rossi is quite funny. I am not deluded and I have watched moto gp since 2003 and unlike some on this forum I like and follow many of the riders. The one thing I cant get past is how quick people write off a champion. Ducati is quite clearly behind the 8 ball. Rossi has big issues to overcome and is up against it. But the jury is still well and truely out in my humble opinion.

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