Valentino Rossi, rock star

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Even before the number 46 GP11 has seen race action, Ducati is leveraging Valentino Rossi‘s star power in a way that Yamaha never managed. Ducati’s pre-season MotoGP night at Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore was packed with 38,000 fans, giving us a taste of the Ducati/Rossi combo’s draw. To put that number in context, only 51,436 people attended Laguna Seca MotoGP on race day last year.

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The idea of a company capitalizing an athlete’s celebrity status is nothing new, but the pairing of a rider of Rossi’s celebrity and the Ducati lifestyle brand, flush with fans of its own, is a rare anomaly in the motorcycle world. These photos and video show a scene more reminiscent of a stadium rock concert than they do a pre-season motorcycle party.

  • jwinter

    Don’t remember where I saw the stat but I read that on the day Rossi announced he was going to ride at Laguna (after the leg break) they sold 250k worth of tickets.
    Like whoever you want in MotoGP but nobody measures up to Rossi for sheer magnetism. Dorna is going to have some severe contractions once he retires.

    • Scott-jay

      Oh-yeah-man: “… nobody measures up to Rossi …”!

  • mugget

    Haha yeah. I am excited just by the Ducati Rossi pairing. Now if they just bring out a new sportsbike to replace the 1198 I’m sure they’ll sell a bucket load…

  • Esteban

    nicky should learn more italian.. maybe

    • Scott-jay

      As-is, a perfect pair to a whole-bunch of US market-share GP or Ducati fans.