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Last night at EICMA in Milan, Ducati presented their new 2013 motorbikes to a relatively subduded, but packed house of journalists at the Milano-Rho Fair Auditorium. Ducati CEO Gabriele Del Torchio announced a great year for Ducati in 2011 and more growth for 2012. I was surprised to know that the US is Ducati's biggest market. A good deal of time was also spent reinforcing the Italian brand's identity in the face of the new Audi ownership. I have to admit, the love-in was a bit over the top.
Ducati invited their brand ambassador and guest of honour Daniele Molmenti, Gold Medallist at the London Olympic Games who is also a "Ducatista". While on stage, Molmenti said he 'loved' his Ducati but had to sell it to pay for his training and hinted he'd love to have a special gift of a new bike. CEO Gabriele Del Torchio, suggested he mortgage his house to buy one! You know you're in Italy when... good one Mr. Ducati.
Anyway, Ducati love was everywhere. The launch included three models of the 2013 Ducati Hypermotard: the Hypermotard, Hypermotard SP and a mid-range tourer, The Hyperstrada - the bikes look great but seem to be a hybrid of a few models rather than the "brand new from the gound up" claims.
Ducati also launched the 1199 Panigale R which will be available in red, white and in the Tricolore. Also launched was the Diavel Strada which I noticed didn't get many oohhs and ahhs at the after party likely due to it's bulky look.
Here are the Ducati 1199 Panigale R, Hypermotard, Hypermotard SP, Hyperstrada, Diavel Strada ...