Ducati Corse: twenty years on tracks all over the world

Ducati's racing division develops the bikes that take part in MotoGP and Superbike competitions and the customer versions used in the national championships.

From the very beginning, as a motorcycle manufacturer Ducati has always felt the need to compete in – and win – competitions, driven by the firm belief that races are the perfect test bench for developing technologies and processes that also improve the production of standard models.

This may seem funny, but from the time of the Cucciolo, races have been organised not far from the factory in Borgo Panigale to test riders and, above all, motorcycles. A racing division has therefore always existed within Ducati, and this is demonstrated by the long list of successes achieved by the Bolognese motorcycles over the years.

For the same reason, in 1988 Ducati decided to take to the track in the SBK World Championship, allocating important resources to it, first directly and then outsourcing the management of its motorcycles to external teams. A strategic choice followed by a long list of victories and titles, so much so that from 1991 to 2013 Ducati could boast the singular record of having won more competitions than the sum of the victories of all other manufacturers. The competitiveness of the Ducati models deployed for the SBK World Championship is further demonstrated by the many customers who bought and still buy bikes from Borgo Panigale to race in national competitions and in the World Championship itself. 

With a growing commitment and Ducati's return to management of the official team, in 1999 Ducati Corse was founded, a company in its own right but still part of Ducati Motor Holding. The new division enjoyed great success from the start, with Carl Fogarty winning the SBK title that very year. The 996 obviously brought the Constructors' title to Borgo Panigale, while in the British Superbike Championship (BSB) a certain Troy Bayliss earned top honours riding the 996 of the GSE team. In the Italian Superbike Championship, Paolo Casoli came out on top with the Gio.Ca.Moto team. 

But Superbike alone wasn't enough for Ducati, which with the new millennium has become one of the leading brands on the world motorcycle scene. With the change in FIM rules and the introduction of the MotoGP class, in 2002 Ducati announced its entry into the MotoGP World Motorcycle Championship. It was probably the greatest challenge the company had ever faced, but the Ducati Corse division was ready and battle-tested. In 2003 Ducati won all the SBK races, and the company enjoyed a historic début in MotoGP. Capirossi reached the podium in his début race at Suzuka after having led for the first laps, and the first success followed shortly thereafter. After only six races, in Barcelona Loris leapt to the front and defended his lead all the way to the chequered flag

In the meantime Ducati changed ownership from TPG Group to Investindustrial in 2006, and Ducati Corse became a division of Ducati Motor Holding. Shortly after this change, Casey Stoner and the Desmosedici GP7 earned legendary status by winning the 2007 MotoGP world title

Today Ducati Corse can count on the work of about 100 people who are involved in Ducati's races, the company having joined the Audi-Volkswagen Group in 2012. Twenty years after its founding, the Corse Division continues its work on two fronts and remains unmatched by its rivals: just consider that for some years Ducati has been the manufacturer with the most bikes racing in MotoGP. For Superbike the development of motorcycles used by the official team and by customer teams continues, without forgetting the national championships where the number of teams riding Ducati motorcycles is constantly growing.

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