On 17 February 2012, Alessandro Donadello from Italy, will be in India to experience the thrill of riding the famous Coorg to Munnar route via Ooty first hand on a Ducati Monster 796 and a Ducati Multistrada 1200.
The winning route was announced by 2006 MotoGP World Champion and Ducati Corse rider Nicky Hayden at the 2011 Shell Advance Malaysian MotoGP race. Hayden was part of an expert motorcycle panel that included distinguished representatives from Ducati Corse, Dorna, Shell Advance and the Sepang International Circuit. Completing the panel, whose job it was to help select the Ultimate Riding Wonder, were respected motorcycle journalists from China, India and Indonesia.
This amazing prize was presented by Shell Advance as the climax of the ‘7 Riding Wonders of the World’ campaign in Sepang last year, where guests gathered from over 8 countries to decide which of the top 7 Riding Wonders voted for by the public would be crowned the world’s Ultimate Riding Wonder.
With the Ultimate Riding Wonder selected, Donadello emerged as the lucky Shell Advance customer to visit India: “I can’t believe that I’ve won the chance to go on my first trip to India and to ride the Ultimate Riding Wonder. It’s a dream come true,” commented Mr. Donadello. “I am really looking forward to travelling in the mountains around Munnar on a Ducati. Thank you to Shell Advance for this unbelievable opportunity.”
Speaking on their support of the ride Mirko Bordiga, CEO Ducati Asia Pacific, said “ We are extremely happy to provide our motorcycle, a Monster 796 and a Multistrada 1200, to Mr. Alessandro Donadello and Sundeep Gajjar for this thrilling initiative of our long-time partner Shell. I am sure that both bikes will make this experience a successful and exciting one. Enjoy the ride!”
Speaking about the global initiative, Tanmay Jaswal, Shell Advance Global Marketing Manager, said: “When Shell Advance launched the 7 Riding Wonders of the World campaign, we were asking biking enthusiasts to help us find the riding roads, tracks and routes around the world that best complement our ethos of Responsiveness.
“We feel the winning route from Coorg to Munnar is the ultimate route that can test the responsiveness of any type of bike you ride incorporating what we feel as the most important features of a riding road and believe our winner will feel ultimate joy on this once in a lifetime experience.”
Nitin Prasad, Country Head, Shell Lubricants India- “We are so proud that a route in India was crowned the Ultimate Riding Wonder. The route from Coorg to Munnar via Ooty offers some of the country’s most stunning landscapes. Flat pastures quickly makes way of narrow and twisting tree-lined road, rising up into the hills. It’s a marvel of senses, as you enjoy the sight – and smell – of coffee, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and tea plantations along the way. We are excited to welcome our guest from Italy, and hope that this will increase the interest in riding in India.’’
p.s.: xBhp is here in Cochin right now to cover the event and also to ride Ducati's on the Ultimate Riding Wonder
As the 'official' riders of the trip we were the workhorses yesterday. Sunil and met got up at 5.30 AM and started from Kochi at 6.45 AM since the MTS arrived in Kochi (via truck from Mumbai) at around 5 AM only!
The roads were decent from Kochi to Munnar, with some bad patches, however the drivers (especially in buses and taxis ) were suicidal. This truly is God's own country because i dont think that people here would survive it were for god himself. I would have no hesitation in declaring this as one of the most dangerous roads I have ever ridden on.
However, all's well that ends well. We arrived in Chinnakanal (15 kms from Munnar) by 10.30 after a breakfast break in Munnar. After a short 15 minutes break we had to get back on the bikes with the winners of Shell Riding Wonder (Donadello and Alessandro from Italy). A crew from UK (which included a man who had taken jeremy's interview 'when he was no so famous') made us run up and down the winding roads of Munnar for video and static shots.
The day finally wrapped up for us at 4 PM from where the other journalists too turns to ride the bikes.
Right now we are in Munnar waiting for all the journos to get their turn with the bikes, so that we can load our stuff and start the actual ride.
Some photos taken by the Shell photographer yesterday: