Official: Ducati is Going Motocross Racing

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Race bike will be joined by a range of off-road models

After months of speculation, Ducati has made it official, confirming it will go motocross racing and introduce a range of off-road motorcycles. The Italian manufacturer will follow Triumph as another major motorcycle manufacturer entering motocross, where they will compete against the likes of the Big Four Japanese brands plus Pierer Mobility’s three-headed monster.

Ducati says it has been working on a prototype for two years, and it has signed nine-time Motocross World Champion and up until yesterday, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team manager Antonio Cairoli to be its test rider. Ducati will officially make its racing debut next season in the Italian Motocross Championship, partnering with the Maddii Racing motocross team and eight-time Italian Champion and 2021 MXoN winner Alessandro Lupino who will be both Ducati’s racer and test rider.

“I am proud to announce Ducati's entry into Motocross,” says Claudio Domenicali, Ducati chief executive officer. “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.”

Ducati hasn’t provided much technical detail about its first motocross bike, except to confirm a focus on light weight and that the engine will use the brand’s signature Desmodromic valve return system. Signing Lupino, who currently races on a Beta RX 450 may suggest Ducati is focusing on the 450 class, but at this point we can’t rule out the possibility of a 250.

The motocross bike will be part of a “complete range of off-road engines and motorcycles,” which means we can expect a line of cross country and enduro models as well.

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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