From Ducati UK:
The clubs had a meeting last week, we had some good ideas, below is what Tim has put on open forums and facebook.
More to follow.
I’ve decided to put a personal note up here about our forthcoming event. In part I wanted to set some of the record straight by covering some of the background and in part because I have some new news to impart. We designed this event around what Ducati owners, club members have told us they want....more than a Track Day, a festival celebrating what Ducati is all about, enjoying your motorcycle and all that goes with it, riding on track, enjoying learning more about Ducati and how to make your bike more suited to you as an individual etc and of course being with friends who enjoy similar things. That said, I know we can’t please all of the people all of the time but what I am sure of is that this will be a great event and we continue adding content as we go along – with the help of our dealers, our club members and our business partners. There is so much content that you really should read on if you are remotely interested in the event! Of course I’m conscious that we’ve had some criticism over price – I hope to address this too.
Firstly, I’m in a position to advise you that following a meeting with the official club presidents, we are going to shortly announce some significant enhancements that will, I’m sure, make some people a lot happier. We’re going to be adding some content to cater for families including a children’s entertainment, we’ve decided children under 16 can come in free and we’re going to introduce a 1 day ticket with no food for £15. On top of this, for riders, we’ve agreed an incentive with Silverstone on both BSB Silverstone and Moto GP Ducati Grandstand tickets.
I’ll start from the beginning – the event grew out of a few opportunities, suggestions from clubs and owners, as well as these ideas coming together we wanted to give you Ducati Owners the chance to make the most of owning a Ducati.
In previous years we’ve run the Desmosedici day and the Superbike event which proved to be resoundingly well received by all who attended, with many requests to do something similar again. The high level of content on both events was appreciated by many of our customers with comments such as “Only Ducati could do this” “we can have a Track Day anywhere but this is more, this is what we want”. The DSC have run an event at Cadwell for many years which got varying levels of support – but last year really it was really touch and go, with people losing money on the event. We (Ducati UK) have run a number of dealer track days and although well received both Dealers and Customers at these events said they wanted more than just track time. Discussions with Club members said we were in the right direction by offering this form of track event, more than a track day, something everyone can get involved in, even if they don’t want to be on track... Bringing all of these factors together, along with a lot of customer and dealer enthusiasm for the idea when mooted, gave the genesis to the idea of “Ducati-Days, the art of Corse”.
Silverstone has not only become our home but is also the home to a brand new Moto-GP track of world-class standard, so it seemed to be the natural choice for an Ultimate Ducati Track Based event, where likeminded Ducati people could get together to celebrate the spirit of Ducati. But it’s not a cheap track to hire in high season and on a weekend...but we wanted to make this the best we could for all Ducati owners
Another consideration that is relevant is that we’ve never yet been criticised at an event for making things inclusive, making sure that it was high quality, and Ducati owners get the best etc. We have, however sometimes faced criticism if we have, for whatever reason decided not to put a lot of budget or content into something (think NEC 2009 when we only had a small presence).
Next there were some key decisions (and since a lot of the comment on here is about price I will refer to the impact of those decisions).
•To hold an event that would be special for Ducati owners the full Moto GP circuit at Silverstone was the only choice – whatever you’ve read elsewhere, hiring Brands GP and especially the full Silverstone circuit is not cheap.
•The event should be held on a weekend in a (hopefully) warm season and so that (some) people do not have to take time off work. This all adds to the cost and is part reason why there are few other such weekend events. For reference, a reputable track-event company single day in May on Silverstone is approx £160-180 during the week, with the same number of people on track
•The training element was requested to make it “more than” a track day, in fact the training element has been the most popular so far and has encouraged those not so used to track events to book. We wanted Ducati Owners to get the most from owning their bike and the training has been written for Ducati
•Having 2 Tracks on Saturday was a pre-requisite so that people could learn the track on day one in small bite size chunks and ride to the best and safest of their abilities on day 2.
•To ensure we give the best to Ducati Owners we hired the expertise of one of the best Schools in the business –California Superbike School. Hiring one of the best in the business is excellent value but clearly adding this Ducati specific content adds to the cost.
•If there were one criticism at the Superbike event it was that guests were not able to eat with the participants – so initially all tickets included food on both days provided by the paddock diner.
•A small issue but all people riding the circuit will get a commemorative t-shirt, an idea generated from a meeting with the club chairmen held at the NEC. The t-shirt will also be on sale at the event for others to buy.
•On top of this, we will have dealer attendance, suspension set-up clinics, talks from various industry specialists, stalls, and an historic bike museum kindly supported by the clubs. And we hope to have some VIP and race team attendance too.
For those who have suggested we are planning to fund anything out of the profits from this, I can assure you, even on best case scenario, we will be putting money in, not taking it out! This event will be heavily subsided by Ducati UK, to give the level of event that has been requested. Yes, you could get to Spain for this price, or do just a track-day at lower cost in the UK. Similarly, I can watch Doncaster Rovers for a fraction of the price of a Chelsea ticket (and certainly ticket prices for first class football are cheaper in Germany than here). It’s a matter of economics and of free choice.
And just to clear up one misunderstanding, the parade lap ticket includes food and entry – it is not £100 on top of the £50 entry with food ticket.
We are genuinely trying to make this the best, most comprehensive and enjoyable event we can – for our customers. Nothing more, nothing less, this is an event for the customers taken from what they have said they wanted. We sincerely hope to see some of you there. If not at this event then at some of the other events that Ducati UK, our dealers or clubs run – you can find them at http://www.ducatiuk.com/events
and they include our National roadshow, 848 Challenge, Goodwood Festival of Speed, Moto-GP grandstand, World Superbikes at Silverstone and more.
Tim MaccabeeMD - Ducati UK Ltd.