Blog | - Part 2


 020 - Davies & Giugliano

In a live streaming broadcast today from new sponsor’s datacenter, today was unveiled the newly named “ Racing – Ducati Superbike Team livery of both Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano.  In addition, it was disclosed that the agreement between and The Ducati Superbike Team is a three year commitment. is is the Italian market leader for data center, webhosting, email and domains and have a presence in the main European markets.

Superbike Racing Project Director Ernesto Marinelli was there to speak on the technical innovations, and pull back the curtain a bit between the bikes Ducati offers to the public and the ones they are challenging with in 2015 WSBK:“The 2015 Panigale R Superbike is an evolved version of the one we raced in 2014. We have come into line with the new technical regulations and, as well as the normal suspension, brakes and chassis upgrades, the three areas where we have made the biggest changes are the new electronics, the engine and the new exhaust system, which has come from the collaboration with Akrapovič. The electronics package has been totally revised, also because a €8000 price-cap has been introduced by the regulations. Many components have been changed, in particular the sensors, including the IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) platform, which is now in common with production bikes, as well as the new Magneti Marelli MLE, which costs less than a third of the one used last year. Despite the significant difference in price, we have however been able to maintain virtually the same management strategies and update them with new settings. The engine is not as highly tuned as before and is closer to the production engine of the new Panigale R, using the same pistons, but in any case we have succeeded in maintaining the same maximum power output as the 2014 bike.”

Also there to explain the current prospects of the team offered by the new rules was Ducati Corse General Manager Luigi Dall’Igna: “The new regulations introduced for the 2015 season will bring Superbikes very close to production models in terms of preparation and also introduce a price-cap for some tech-nical components. In this difficult economic period, I believe that this is the right path to take with a view to keeping costs under control and levelling the playing field. The reorganization that has taken place inside Ducati Corse over recent months means that we can now better capitalize on the synergies between the engineers who work at the Ducati factory and those working at the tracks, for the benefit of the entire Superbike programme. We have also extended to Superbike our partnership with Akrapovič, with whom we have collaborated in MotoGP since last year, and together we have developed a new exhaust that has already given excellent results in the winter tests. Our aim for 2015, which is shared with our new partner Aruba, at this point can only be one: to win again and be protagonists in the championship this season.”

In a few days’ time, the Racing – Ducati Superbike Team will travel to Australia, where the final winter test sessions will take place at Phillip Island on 16 and 17 February, followed by the opening round of the 2015 World Superbike Championship, to take place over the weekend of 20-22 February at the same track.


Outgoing Cristiano Silei leaves Ducati North America without an official Director

Outgoing Cristiano Silei leaves Ducati North America without an official Director

Source: Ducati

Andrea Buzzoni new DUCATI Sales and Marketing Director


• Cristiano Silei leaves Ducati to face a new professional challenge;
• Claudio Domenicali “We thank Cristiano Silei for his contribution in achieving the record results in 2014”;
• Andrea Buzzoni will start in his new position on February, the 2nd, 2015.

Borgo Panigale (Bologna) 30 January, 2015 – Andrea Buzzoni (45) will become the new Ducati Sales and Marketing Director. His motorcycle passion and great experience in Sales Management and Marketing of premium brands will be a key factor for the growth of the Borgo Panigale Company.

Andrea Buzzoni, born in Milan and graduated in Political Science, has gained his experience in the motorcycle world, working for over 17 years in Sales and Marketing. Former Ducati employee, he worked as Director in the Germany Branch from 2001 to 2004, then he was the General Manager for BMW Motorrad Italy for 10 years.
His commitment in the racing world was also great. Firstly he has managed, for BMW Motorrad Italia, the projects of the Superstock and Superbike World Championship and subsequently, the official factory team of the World Superbike Championship.

Ducati Vice President Sales and Marketing, Cristiano Silei (47), has resigned from the Company to face a new professional challenge.

Claudio Domenicali, Ducati CEO, thanks Cristiano Silei for the achievements and the commitment in these years of collaboration, and wishes him further success in his future career. Cristiano Silei has contributed to increase Ducati international expansion and has achieved record results. Over 45.100 motorcycles have been delivered to customers in 2014, this is the best result ever for the Borgo Panigale Company.
Cristiano Silei has greatly contributed in the creation of the new Ducati brand, Scrambler, laying the foundation for further commercial successes for the Company.


I try to drive in Italy at least once a year.  Being born and raised in Florida leaves a pretty big hole where it comes to driving satisfaction – straight roads, low speed limits and heavy traffic all add up to about as bad as it gets for someone like me. In Italy it’s pretty easy to stay amused with the mechanical offerings and the selections of how to use them. Fast trains and cruising the Autostrada in the left lane regardless of on two or four wheels makes me happy. But this winter trip I decided to try something totally different, at the opposite end of the mechanical spectrum –  I rented an electric microcar in Florence.

Florence it was explained to me, is a city that welcomes this type of transportation with genuinely open arms. For the most part, these tiny cars can go most anywhere, park most anywhere and utilize the chargers, for free, scattered around the city center. I rented an apartment right on the Piazza Signoria, as restricted an area as Italy has to offer, rented the car and decided to see for myself how it would all work.

The microcar, a Biro built in Italy by a company called Estrima is really little more than a fully electric enclosed golfcar with clear plastic suicide doors.  It seats two tightly but because it’s so small it can park in scooter spaces. It was delivered to the Piazza Signoria by it’s owner and after a coffee and a nice chat he showed me how and where to charge it.  Our first choice of chargers was in use by the Mayor but there was another one across the piazza (and closer to my door) so that was home base for the next couple days.


Teeny tiny microcar on the road back from Piazzale Michelangelo

Sure enough it really could go anywhere, although to be truthful, that was easier said than done. Florence’s city center is a maze of one way streets and GPS doesn’t work well there in the small alleys that pass for roads and the old buildings that surround them.  Getting from one side of the city center to the other could be really complicated and more than once we found ourselves having to double back and try again.  One day when I was parking it an Italian man stopped me and asked about it but when he discovered I was driving without a GPS his wife gave him a face that said it all and his interest disappeared in short order. I later learned the company that rents them also rents GPS devices they said work in the city, something my iPhone was struggling with.

What was great was the amount of distance you could cover in a day,  which would have been impossible on foot. Our first day with the car we started out to the Piazza Michelangelo, drove all around that area (across the river from the main Duomo church) stopping to visit a couple of church’s  including San Miniato al Monte, and the Pitti Palace (parking each place with little drama because it’s so small and easy to park) then made our way to the Central Market for lunch, did some shopping and then headed back across the river for a change of clothes and dinner. It goes about 50km on a charge and even with all that driving we ended our day with a half charge remaining.

Plugging it in and charging it would have been a breeze if I had known a tiny bit more about it. The cord is in a locked panel in the lower rear and plugs in to a small receptacle in the back of the car which then goes to the charging station.  Once it’s plugged in you go back to the car and flip a switch and make sure the panel lights up.  Ours didn’t, because the station plug we were using (each station has several receptacles) fuse was tripped, which we didn’t realize until the next day, but if we had known it, the fix was as simple as resetting the fuse by flipping the lever. Fortunately as it turns out the Biro had enough power for two days and we made it back to the charging station with ease.

About the car itself: It’s super easy to drive and park, and operates much like a golf cart but without that big surge golf carts have when you first hit the gas.  The brakes aren’t bad but the whole package is pretty skittish overall, which I’m sure is enhanced by the rough roads and cobblestones that make up the city center. It’s got a roof vent which works ok for getting a breeze but my guess is in summer it would be pretty hot to drive if you were out of the shade of the buildings in the sun.  Operating it really is just as simple as flipping a lever for forward and reverse and pushing the gas or brake. It could use some hidden storage and it does have a small compartment but it’s hard to get to and really designed for tools more than shopping bags or cameras stored out of sight.  In short, it’s easy to operate, fun to drive and cute as a button. Truthfully, we loved riding around in it even though we became somewhat of a little tourist attraction ourselves, we were asked several times to stop for photos with people we were passing in the streets.


Prefer an open air ride with someone else at the wheel? This Ape Calessino is the answer.

The overall experience: Florence is a really busy tourist destination, full up to it’s ears with people wall to wall and driving thru them isn’t so easy.  In fact it’s hard and you have to really be careful not to whack somebody with a mirror or strike a baby carriage or the tourist pushing it. The Biro is allowed to drive along the edges of the squares, which even taxis can’t do. So that’s great. And the experience of “filling up for free” in Italy is just plain lovely and a bit bizarre given the cost of gas and diesel not to mention the complicated fill up process that passes for normal there.  I think these loopholes will certainly go away once more people have electric cars, the absolute freedom of it all is unsustainable once a number of users embrace it.

How to rent one: In Florence we used FlorenceEcoRent (who I can recommend highly), but companies like this are starting to pop up all around Italy and often also seem to also rent scooters and bicycles. Delivery is available (ours was delivered and picked up from the Piazza Signoria for an extra 15e and the rental prices vary – our total package was 125e for two days.

Would I do it again? Yes, absolutely. Seeing this much of a city I love without the sore feet that usually goes with that is pretty great.  Is it for everybody? No. Driving in Florence (and any inner city in Italy) is difficult. In fact, I would describe driving there somewhat of an adventure.

Sounds good but not so sure about the driving? There is another wonderful option for those who prefer to see but not drive offered here 2 or three hour tours in a chauffeured open air Ape Calessino by TukTuk Florence, which is I must confess my very favorite (and romantic) of all the small crazy vehicles offered in Italy