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The arrival in MotoGP

 
 

On 31 May 2001, during the Italian Grand Prix at the Monza racetrack, Ducati announced that, as of 2003, it would compete in the MotoGP World Championship, the new reigning class of the world series.

February 2002 saw the release of the first image of a 3D design of the new bike's engine: the "Desmosedici". The engine was an L-shaped four-cylinder, equipped with the desmodromic system. Contrary to the classic 90° twin-cylinder, distribution was via gear train while the cylinders were coupled inside a monobloc head, so the engine dimensions were slightly wider than the Desmoquattro twin-cylinder but the power, as confirmed by initial reports, was decidedly greater.

In August 2002, in France, the bike was tested for the first time in great secrecy, ridden by test rider Vittoriano Guareschi. During the final race of the 2002 MotoGP season, Troy Bayliss completed a few laps with the Desmosedici at the "Ricardo Tormo" racetrack in Valencia, giving spectators a first chance to hear the rumble of Filippo Preziosi's new creation.

With Troy Bayliss, hero of the Ducatisti, and MotoGP veteran Loris Capirossi riding the bike, 2003 brought both the debut and the surprise.
Ducati achieved an incredible second place in the manufacturer's championship with 225 points, one race win, two seconds and six third places. Loris Capirossi concluded the year with a brilliant fourth place in the general standings, with 177 points, while Bayliss closed sixth with 128 points, results that earned him the title of "rookie of the year".
A breath-taking beginning, worthy of the world title that Ducati would bring home four years later with another Australian: Casey Stoner.

 

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