[Ducati]

DUCATI’S HISTORIC MX DEBUT

4 weeks ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Ducati Media House

An Italian rider aboard an Italian bike in the Italian Motocross Championship – overseen by nine-time, MXGP World Champion, Italy’s Tony Cairoli. Seriously, would you have expected anything less Italian from the all-new Ducati Corse Factory Team when making its official motocross race debut? Of course, you wouldn’t! Not if you’re a Ducatista diehard, anyway.

But the historic race debut of both the Ducati team and its all-new Desmo450 MX bike at Italy’s Mantua track was much more than a marketing exercise awash with red, white and green flags. In fact, with team rider and eight-time Italian MX Champion, Alessandro Lupino, going 1-7 for second Overall on the day, the prototype 450cc Duc appears to already be right on the pace and poised to be a genuine player on the world MX scene before long.

Here’s an excerpt from the Ducati Corse Factory Team PR about the historic race debut of their Desmo450 MX, which will go into production in 2025…

The Ducati Desmo450 MX ridden by Alessandro Lupino has taken pole position and victory on its debut in the Motocross Pro-Prestige MX1 Italian Championship, finishing second Overall in the first round of 2024. The prototype marks Ducati’s entry into specialist off-road racing and represents the first step in a project that will see the birth of a complete range of off-road motorcycles, developed on the most demanding of racetracks.

In the first round of the Italian MX1 Championship, held on the International Circuit of Mantua, the eight-time Italian Champion – after having set the best benchmark both in free practice and in qualifying – led the opening heat from the first to the last lap. In the second heat, after a difficult start, Lupino finished seventh after a great comeback, sealing the second Overall place in the round.

Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding: “This weekend in Mantua, we wrote another chapter in the history of Ducati. Alessandro Lupino and our team gave us some great fun and, despite it being the first motocross race in our recent history, we immediately demonstrated outstanding performance. Best time in free practice, pole and victory in the first heat are truly a debut that lives up to expectations: we have gathered a lot of information which will be fundamental to best develop the bike that will be available to all enthusiasts next year. Congratulations to Alessandro and our entire off-road team; a fantastic start to a new story of sport and passion.”

Alessandro Lupino, official rider of the Ducati Corse R&D – Factory MX Team: “These were two very exciting days. My debut with the Ducati was truly a dream. They told me it would be, but today I experienced it! Feeling like a Ducatista is a truly special sensation. Congratulations to all the guys who worked on this project, because in a very short time they created a spectacular bike, with a lot of potential, doing an incredible job. Together we wrote a page of history: first pole and first heat victory for the Ducati Desmo450 MX. Unfortunately, the second heat didn’t go as I would have liked. I got the start wrong and wasn’t able to recover. But that’s okay; now the engineers have the data to analyse two completely different situations!”

Sunday’s two heats allowed Ducati engineers to collect the first important data to continue the development of the Desmo450 MX which, upon its debut, has confirmed the validity of the technical base of the prototype. The focus of the Ducati Off-Road project is a combination of the search for lightness pushed to the extreme, top-of-the-line components and engines characterised by a very broad delivery curve. The latter is obtained thanks to the utilization of the Desmodromic system, used on all the sports bikes of the Borgo Panigale company, starting from MotoGP. Ducati is in fact the only company in the world that uses the same valve return system on its highest-performing production motorcycles as it uses on racing prototypes.

The next round of the Italian Motocross Championship is scheduled for 27 and 28 April on the Cingoli (MC) circuit. In the meantime, the tests of the Ducati Corse R&D Factory MX Team will continue together with Alessandro Lupino and Tony Cairoli, who’s present in Mantua to support the eight-time Italian Motocross Champion.

Be the first to comment...

You might also like...

Ducati

1 day ago

DUCATI’S GROWING PORTFOLIO OF MODELS

Ducati unveils four impressive new models at a series of swish events in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

Ducati

5 days ago

INTERVIEW: ANTONIO CAIROLI

Eric Johnson explores Ducati’s remarkable venture into the realm of motocross.

Ducati

1 month ago

VIDEO: DUCATI & ANTONIO CAIROLI

Monster Energy teams up with Antonio Cairoli and Ducati Corse to introduce the Desmo450 MX.

Ducati

2 months ago

DUCATI’S DESERTX RALLY: WHERE IT SHINES

Ducati’s all-new DesertX Rally model – more than just an up-specced ‘standard’ DesertX!

Ducati

2 months ago

DUCATI’S DESERTX RALLY: DESIGN INSIGHTS

A fascinating insight into design philosophy and R&D process behind Ducati’s all-new DesertX Rally model.

Ducati

2 months ago

TESTED: DUCATI’S ALL-NEW DESERTX RALLY

What we learned about Ducati’s DesertX Rally at this all-new model’s media launch in Morocco…

Ducati

2 months ago

DUCATI’S NEXT-GEN SCRAMBLERS HIT OZ

Ducati’s much-loved Scrambler platform unveiled its new guise at a packed event under Brisbane’s Story Bridge.

Ducati

2 months ago

DUCATI’S ADVENTURE RIDING ‘SCHOOL’

Ducati has announced an expanded Adventure Academy ride series for 2024, with events in NSW, Vic., Qld and WA.