Saturday, March 2, 2024
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Ducati gets dirty

Another iconic road bike manufacturer has announced that it will be contesting the world of motocross next year – Ducati. The Bologna company has produced two dirt-style models in the shape of the Scrambler and DesertX, which cater very well for the retro street and adventure sectors, respectively, but it’s now getting serious about the motocross market.

Ducati has been working on a prototype for two years that will debut next season in the Italian Motocross Championship, aiming to validate the bike’s engineering on the track. This is part of 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 new off-road range of motorcycles branded Ducati, starting with motocross.

An agreement has been signed with nine-times 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.

A multi-year project that will see the creation of a complete range of off-road engines and motorcycles

Cairoli commented: “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 [Bologna] motocross bike is a dream come true and a source of great pride for me.”

Ducati has 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 motocross racing activities. It will also take part in the 2024 Italian Motocross Championship with Alessandro Lupino, eight-time Italian Champion and 2021 MXoN winner, who is contracted to Ducati as racing and test rider.

Entering the specialist off-road sector represents an important and challenging choice for Ducati. The Ducati says its off-road project focuses on “a combination of the search for lightness, top-of-the-line components and engines characterised by a very broad power delivery curve”. The last of these factors should be possible thanks to the use of the Desmodromic system, the brand’s trademark engineering used in MotoGP.


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