38,000-strong send-off for Rossi and Hayden

Bologna grinds to a halt...

MORE than 38,000 fans packed out Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore for Ducati's pre-season party for the MotoGP squad.

The “Ducati MotoGP Night” event came at the end of an action-packed day that included an emotional visit to the Ducati factory in Borgo Panigale, Bologna during which Rossi and Hayden toured the production lines and met the workers.

At a press conference Hayden said: "I know very well how hard the season will be, MotoGP is never easy, but that's why we love it. The last tests in Malaysia were difficult, but our team spirit is always positive. I'm just waiting to get back on the track and give all the Italian fans the results they deserve."

Valentino Rossi was less revealing about the pre-season tests: "Our visit to Ducati today was really emotional. For many years I've raced for other motorcycle manufacturers and visited their factories, but for sure the atmosphere was never like this. Today was like returning home and I'm very happy to be working with an Italian team this year. The people we met today have a great passion in what they do and pride in who they are and now we have to be fast on the track, have some great races and give everyone motivation.”

At the MotoGP event, Rossi and Hayden rose their Desmosedici GP11s onto the stage where fans got to see the whole team for the first time. The opening MotoGP race is in Qatar on the 20th March.

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