The U.S.A. has become Ducati’s largest market, says Gabriele Del Torchio, Ducati Motor Holding president. “We sell more bikes here in the United States now than we do in our domestic market. Only 20 percent of our bikes are sold in Italy, and 80 percent are exported,” Del Torchio said at a Ducati North America […]
Michael Schumacher Riding the Ducati 1199 Panigale
Formula One racing star Michael Schumacher is a noted motorcyclist, having competed in various motorcycle races after his initial retirement from car racing. Schumacher was no slouch either, and once received an open invitation to ride a Honda in the World Superbike Championship.
Schumacher recently got a chance to ride motorcycles on a track, taking part in a track day at the Paul Ricard circuit in France organized by Monster Energy and Mercedes-Benz. Schumacher was joined by some notable company as well, riding with retired Grand Prix racer Randy Mamola, TT racer John McGuinness, Moto2 racer Pol Espargaro and musician Keith Flint of Prodigy, who also happens to be an endurance racer.
The now re-retired Schumacher rode a Ducati 1199 Panigale (pictured in the red leathers below), and McGuinness says he acquitted himself well alongside the professional motorcycle racers.
“Riding with Michael was so good. What he’s achieved on four wheels makes him the Godfather of motorsport,” says McGuinness, who rode a Honda CBR1000RR. “I wasn’t expecting him to be anything less, but he’s fast! You can see his enthusiasm for motorcycles and it was a massive pleasure to spend the day with him.”
As impressive as Schumacher’s racing resume reads, the seven-time F1 champion expressed his admiration for his fellow riders.
“Coming here today I felt so proud to be able to turn my hand at riding a bike with guys I really admire. I can’t begin to explain how much fun it was to ride the track with the likes of John, Randy, Keith and watching Pol Espargaro’s huge talent.”
[Source: IOMTT; photos by Mercedes amg-F1 (Steve Etherington), Milagro and Getty Images]