Last weekend Portland Oregon's MotoCorsa - North America's 2006 Ducati Dealer of the Year - together with Ducati North America (DNA) played host to Ducati Northwest (DNW2007) at Portland International Raceway. Organizers were hoping to build on the excitement from DNW2004 that saw over a thousand attendees but with short notice this year's event only attracted about 500 enthusiasts.
The event began Friday, August 10th with a Ducati only track day. Saturday featured open track sessions as well as a vendor's area with support from friends like Cox Racing Group, SpeedyMoto, Arai and Pirelli to name a few. Ducati North America's CEO Mike Lock mingled with the crowd and later took a few laps around the track in a Ford GT.
Former Superbike World Championship Doug Polen and other pros left jaws dropped as they turned some fast laps on the predominantly right hand cornered racetrack.
Admission to the event was $230 for three days that included a Ducati only track day on Friday. Ducati enthusiasts not interested in a full-blown track day could purchase a three-day general admission ticket for only $35 and still ride on the track (albeit at a slower pace) on Saturday and Sunday. The $35 admission also got you access to the Ducati Saturday night block party at MotoCorsa.
Arun Sharma, manager of MotoCorsa told Bikeland he had hoped the turn out could have been better. "Well, we had only 5 weeks to prep for this event and promote it. It was really last minute because PIR only contacted us about 5 weeks ago to let us know they had this weekend open for us. In 2004 we had about 8 months to prepare for the event and we got 1000 riders. If we'd had more time we'd have 3-4000 this time around".
The highlight of Saturday evening was the Ducati block party at MotoCorsa which saw several streets shut down and the inside of the high-tech and stylish dealership - complete with a permanent DJ booth - turned into a nightclub. MotoCorsa did some good will on the side by collecting for the Make a Wish Foundation $1000.
How many blondes does it take to knock over an all-original and collectible 1976 860 GT? The correct answer is two - this one and her friend. Shameful that they didn't fess up to their crime!
DNW took a hiatus in 2005, and was rained out in 2006. All the pieces are in place to turn DNW into a world-class event for 2008, so mark your calendars!