Tourist Trophy 2008: On the 6th June Ducati celebrates the 30th anniversary of Mike Hailwood's legendary win and the 50th anniversary of its participation in the TT.

The 2008 Tourist Trophy road race takes place from 24th May to 7th June, around the Isle of Man and this year's event will be a special opportunity for race fans to celebrate this anniversary with Ducati.

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One of the prime reasons for celebration is undoubtedly the 30th anniversary of the 2nd June 1978, the date of Mike Hailwood's unforgettable race to victory on a Ducati 900.

It was as an incredible achievement as it was unexpected, as Hailwood came out of retirement and stunned the world of motorcycling by beating the odds-on favourite Phil Read on his Honda to complete a fairytale return to racing and the Isle of Man TT.

In 1958, exactly 50 years ago, Ducati officially participated in the Tourist Trophy for the first time, racing with a 125 team. The factory team, on its TT debut claimed second place in both the riders' championship and the team rankings behind MV Agusta. The team was made up of legendary riders such as Luigi Taveri, Dave Chadwick, Romolo Ferri and Sammy Miller and used the race to launch its Ducati 125 Gran Prix Desmo, the first racing Ducati fitted with the Desmodromic system that immediately proved the value of engineer Fabio Taglioni's design.

During the course of TT history, Ducati has helped not only Mike Hailwood but many other equally famous riders to victory -riders such as Tony Rutter, who won the TT2 race on several occasions.

Now, for the first time, the Ducati museum in Bologna has allowed eight of its precious vintage bikes - representing milestones of the past, present and future of the Italian manufacturer - to grace the famous road route.

The following sensational bikes will be exhibited at the Ducati Experince at the TT 2008:

  • 125 Gran Sport 'Marianna' 1956, the first bike designed by Fabio Taglioni
  • 125 Gran Prix Desmo 1959, the first Ducati fitted with the Desmodromic system
  • 250 Twin Cylinder Gran Prix Desmo 1960, one of the first racing bikes used by Mike Hailwood
  • 900 SS IOM TT 1978, the bike that Mike Hailwood rode to TT victory 888 SBK 1991, one of the first 4-valve twin cylinder bikes ridden by American legend Doug Polen
  • 916 SBK 1994, the first SBK used by Fogarty to win his first World Title
  • 999 SBK 2006, the latest Ducati to have earned the SBK World Championship Title with Troy Bayliss
  • Desmosedici MotoGP 2007, the bike ridden by the young Australian Casey Stoner to win the MotoGP World Championship last year

These will be on show alongside other Ducati bikes from private British collections. There will also be a parade of vintage Ducati bikes on the track and special guest appearances by Ducati personalities such as Carl Fogarty, Paul Smart, Tony Rutter, Michael Rutter, Sammy Miller, Jamie Whitham and Dave Hailwood, son of the great British champion.

Also as part of the celebrations, Ducati UK in association with 'The Famous Creg' will be holding a celebratory dinner to mark 50 years of Ducati on the island. Stars of past and present including Carl Fogarty, Paul Smart, Sammy Miller, and Jamie Whitham will join 75 guests at this exclusive event. Entrance to the dinner is 50 per ticket and can be purchased through David Teece (01624 676948).

On the night there will be an auction of Ducati Race memorabilia including:

  • Ducati Corse Year Book Signed by Casey Stoner & Troy Bayliss
  • Ducati Museum book signed by riders past and present
  • Signed Casey Stoner World Champion T shirt
  • Ducati year book signed by BSB Ducati Riders
  • Signed Sammy Miller photo
  • Signed Paul Smart photo
  • See www.creg-ny-baa.com for more details and how to bid on line

During the race week, Ducati UK will be organising demonstrator rides from Monday 2nd June in conjunction with BSM. Bikes available to test ride will include 1098, 848, Hypermotard, GT1000, Multistrada and Monster. Test rides can be booked with Ducati UK on the day and riders must present both parts of their licence which must be of UK or Manx origin.

The Ducati Experience will be located in the Nobles Pavilion just behind the grandstand.

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[ 2008 Ducati Insurance News Archive ]