By Vicki Smith
When Ducati’s Were Red…
Near as I can figure, Ducati Island Laguna Seca turns 19 this year so when I found these old photos I thought they were worth sharing. There is, of course, a back story:
That little piece of land now known world wide as Ducati Island was originally under contract to another company. We heard a rumor the space might come available so my business partners and I made a deal with the track and rented it on a multi-year contract. The inspiration? My partner had gone to Donington and came back talking about the sea of red Ducati’s. It sounded magical to me. We were in love with all things European and we thought how cool would it be to throw a big old Ducati party? I was already doing something similar in Daytona but for a party this size we needed WAY more Ducati’s for the visual impact when seen from the hill above. At the time Ducati Performance was still Gio.Ca.Moto and we were the GCM US importers. California always had the most Ducati’s so it was an obvious place to try and pull off a good Ducati display. Our thinking of what could be more fun was spot on, it’s still the best party ever and gets better every year. We didn’t call it Ducati Island though, years later when they took over the contract from us the Ducati North America marketing department gave it that name. I always though it was the perfect name. Not because of the water, but because Ducati Island really IS an “Island state of mind”.
These photos are from 1995. I can’t be 100% certain if this was the first year but the lack of any other vendors makes me pretty sure this was. It was SBK then, not GP and it was so much fun. Looking back it was kind of a crazy thing to do, spend the whole years ad budget on a party 3000 miles from your store but, you know, it turned out ok…
For the rest of the photos go HERE
Vicki Smith photos and text