Last weekend, in his first Indianapolis Grand Prix as a Ducati rider, American Nicky Hayden posted a season best third place; highlighting a Ducati centric weekend.
While everyone unable to attend saw the Nicky's third place on TV, Ducati Island was the talk of the track, with countless festivities and revelry taking place. The highlight of the island activities was Ducati MotoGP rider Nicky Hayden receiving the surprise gift of his own personal Nicky Hayden Edition 848. Ducati noticed one of the 150 bikes had a VIN ending with 69 and took that as a sign it was destined for Nicky, who had no idea he was going to be presented with it on stage at the Grand Prix.
As a slight reprieve from the speed on the track, Ducati Island also featured a Ducati Bocce Ball court was built and decorated in a special tricolore paint scheme. The Italian Heritage Society of Indiana was on hand for everyone wanted to play a game, learn the rules, or needed an extra Bocce partner. Topeka AMA double-winner Larry Pegram was also on the Island all weekend interacting with fans- a rare opportunity to spend a day with a factory Superbike rider. For those watching the races; the Ducati grandstands had the best view of the track, including corners 1-4 and a view of the big screen- ensuring not a moment of the action was missed.
Ducatisti also showed their charitable side, where a silent auction held for the Make-A-Wish Foundation raised $13,000. The auction featured Ducati memorabilia spanning back several decades; including some normally "unobtainium" items such as Desmosedici GP9 body panels and a Ducati-Burton Snowboard. A few notable bids included a set of Larry Pegram's racing leathers for $2,700 and a factory MotoGP uniform signed by Nicky Hayden for $700.
Ducati Island will return to American road race circuits in 2010.