In a meeting of champions, the America’s Cup Defender Emirates Team New Zealand, has welcomed the MotoGP World Champions, Francesco "Pecco" Bagnaia, and the Ducati Lenovo Team at their base in Barcelona. The meeting took place within the framework of the Monster Energy GP of Catalonia, which will take place this coming weekend in Barcelona. The event was attended by the President of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, MH Mr. Roger Torrent, the CEO of Dorna Sports, Carmelo Ezpeleta and CEO of Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya, Oriol Sagrera.
The CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, Grant Dalton, a self-professed enthusiast of motorcycling and speed, Skipper Peter Burling and trimmer Blair Tuke took the guests through team base and for a close up look at Te Rehutai the teams AC75 in the shed, before boarding the chase boat to head out for a sail on the AC40, Te Kākahi.
“It really is an honour to welcome a world champion like Pecco and a historic entity like Ducati Corse to our facilities. Their official Ducati Lenovo Team has become a benchmark and a formidable competitor in such a demanding event as the MotoGP World Championship," stated Dalton.
While highlighting the importance of technological components in the upcoming edition of the oldest sporting trophy on the planet, set to take place next year in Barcelona.
"The America's Cup has forever changed the sport of sailing in terms of design and innovation, as well as the spectator experience, thanks to the introduction of foiling technology, allowing our AC75 and AC40 boats to literally fly over the water, much like Ducati's do on the asphalt."
Gigi dall'Igna, General Manager of the MotoGP World Team Champion Ducati Lenovo Team watched on as his MotoGP World Champion rider took the helm of the kiwi AC40 in light but lumpy conditions just off the Barcelona’s waterfront.
"It is really exciting to see how two worlds as far apart as the America's Cup and the MotoGP World Championship have so much in common. Especially on a technological level, in terms of materials and other aspects such as aerodynamics. It has been an incredible experience to have been able to share this champion-to-champion experience with a team like Emirates Team New Zealand.”
Pecco Bagnaia, more accustomed to racing at speeds of over 350km/h was very impressed with the performance of AC40, which Emirates Team New Zealand will sail in the first preliminary regatta taking place between September 14 and 17 in Vilanova i la Geltrú.
"It's completely different from the bike and it's incredible. You fly over the water, and it gives you the sensation that it's achieved in a very clean way. You must find the right angle at all times to be aligned with the wind to achieve more speed. I could feel the G forces, and it's been a lot of fun," Pecco said as soon as he stepped off the New Zealand AC40.
Monster Energy GP of Catalonia takes place this coming weekend in Barcelona Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya