The engines are being revved up while we wait for the roar of Juventus Stadium. MotoGP's riders will be racing around the Misano circuit named after Marco Simoncelli. The San Marino Grand Prix will be held over the coming days and the excitement in the pit lane is palpable. This afternoon though they stopped in their tracks when Ducati guests president Agnelli and Andrea Pirlo, along with Chief Revenue Officer Francesco Calvo, appeared in the paddock.
After watching the bikes fly past from trackside, the Bianconeri delegation moved to the Ducati pit lane where they met Andrea Dovizioso shortly after he had set the fastest time in practice. Yet, despite his fastest lap, the photographers weren't focused solely on the rider. After all we are in Italy and nothing here can match the interest in football, which is why - after they spotted the unexpected visitors - everyone was left wondering, “What are Juve doing here?”
It's simple: the Old Lady has now won over the motorcycling world and that's what led to the creation of Juventus Club DOC MotoGP, which was officially presented in Misano today. The initiative was promoted by Juventus board member Maurizio Arrivabene and motorcycle legend Loris Capirossi. Having enjoyed a successful career spanning more than 20 years on the track, Capirossi is now the sport's Safety Advisor and a popular commentator. His love for the Bianconeri has been a running theme throughout his career, something which Loris will now demonstrate as President of the Club. “I grew up in Romagna, a Juve stronghold, and so have been a supporter of the club for a long time,” Capirossi said during the press conference. “I've been to Juventus Stadium on numerous occasions over the years and this really is a special moment for me. It's fantastic to be President.”
From the pride of Capirossi to the delight of Andrea Agnelli: “We have been making efforts to internationalise our brand for some time now, even taking it outside of its usual context, the stadium, as we've seen from the opening of J Cafe in Tokyo and this summer's tour which took us to countries like Australia, a long way from the game's elite. Today we are proud to see our logo alongside MotoGP's. I really believe great things will come of this partnership.”
“Honoured and proud” was what Carmelo Ezpeleta had to say, CEO of Dorna, the company that holds the rights to MotoGP: “It's a dream to link up with a big club like Juventus.” A dream... at full throttle.