The Bologna-based manufacturer has been working for two years on a prototype that will make its debut next season in the Italian Motocross Championship, with the aim of validating the technical solutions made on the bike on the track. This strategy confirms the approach that distinguishes Ducati in the development of its sportiest and most high-performance models, i.e. starting from racing competition and then creating serious products capable of exceptional performance for the delight of its enthusiasts.
This is a multi-year project that will see the creation of a complete range of off-road engines and motorcycles. The models will gradually become part of a family of knobby motorcycles branded Ducati, starting with motocross.
The Bologna-based company has signed an agreement with nine-time Motocross World Champion Antonio Cairoli as a high-performance test rider for the new project and, thanks to his talent, speed and experience, he will give important input for the development of the new motorcycle.
Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, commented: ”I am proud to announce Ducati’s entry into Motocross. A totally new world for Ducati in which we want to bring our talent in designing lightweight motorcycles, with excellent components and high performance and – above all – which can excite more and more motorcyclists. Just as we believe that the track is the best laboratory to develop and test the bikes that will then be available to customers and enthusiasts. This is why we have decided to cooperate with an undisputed champion like Tony Cairoli who, together with the passion and dedication of many of us here in Borgo Panigale, will contribute to making Ducati in off-road as capable in offering very high-performance products to its passionate customers as we have proven on the asphalt. The project is possible thanks to the company’s excellent results in recent years and confirms our desire to extend our presence into new worlds, speak to new motorcyclists and therefore grow the Ducati Community.”
Antonio Cairoli added: “I am extremely happy to become part of the universe of Ducati, which has always been a symbol of Italian spirit throughout the world, and to begin this exciting new adventure, in an all-Italian project. Being able to make my contribution to the development of the Borgo Panigale motocross bike is a dream come true and a source of great pride for me.”
Ducati has also signed a multi-year agreement with Maddii Racing, one of the most experienced teams in the motocross paddock, which will be the reference structure for the MX racing activities and will take part in the 2024 Italian Motocross Championship with Alessandro Lupino, eight-time Italian Champion and 2021 MXoN winner, also contracted to Ducati as racing and test rider.
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 power delivery curve. The latter is obtained thanks to the use of the Desmodromic system, used on all the sports bikes of the Bologna-based 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 does on racing prototypes.
Entering the specialist off-road sector represents a very important and challenging strategic choice for Ducati, made possible thanks to the excellent results achieved in recent years. A decision that confirms the desire to expand the brand’s presence into unexplored terrain today. New young motorcyclists will be able to get close to the Borgo Panigale brand and thus enter the large community of Ducati.