Ducati is one of the perennial factory squads in MotoGP that has proven to be a force to be reckoned with in the top echelon of two-wheel racing. They have legions of followers known as the Ducatisti, not to mention a number of successes in the motorcycle racing world. Ducati has been an active factory team in the premier class since 2003, after the introduction of the new regulation for four-stroke engines.
For long-time Ducatisti, names like the Great Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi have brought much accolades to the factory Ducati squad in MotoGP especially. Stoner is still the man with the most wins in a Ducati and brought home a title to the Bolognese-based squad in 2007.
Stoner riding style and racing instinct best suited the Desmosedici GP machine through the 2007 season and his formidable years as the top rider in MotoGP for several years. That year, MotoGP technical regulations required bikes to be 800cc, instead of 1000cc. But it didn’t matter to Stoner, the Australian came up with 10 wins, the most ever for Ducati, and 14 podiums to ensure the Riders and Manufacturers’ titles. After that spectacular year, Stoner would go on to win another 13 victories in three years and became the most successful rider onboard the Desmosedici GP bike.
After Stoner’s last success at Phillip Island in 2010, Ducati hadn’t much accomplished since the Stoner-era. From 2011 until 2015, they pretty much played catch up to the likes of the Hondas and Yamahas, even the Suzukis. It wasn’t till 2016, when Andrea Iannone scored a surprising win that Ducati tasted a podium success. A year later, Dovizioso pushed through for the win at the Sepang Circuit to bring Ducati back from the brink, late in the season. A win or even a podium finish was hard to come by for the proud Ducati MotoGP team. Although going through a relative slump in MotoGP, Ducati never stopped developing the Desmosedici GP bike, in terms of performance and evolutions introduced over the years. One such example was the innovative wings that have revolutionized aerodynamics of premier class machines,
Up to date, no one else has come close to Stoner’s numbers, even the likes of current rider Andrea Dovizioso, who’d just captured Ducati’s 50th win last Sunday at the Red Bull Ring, has only 14 wins in total. Dovizioso could one day beat Stoner’s record but it’s going to take some time.
A look back at pre-Stoner era
Prior to the appearance of Stoner, Ducati MotoGP had two big names in the fold namely Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss. Capirossi tallied only seven wins during his tenure at Ducati. On the four-stroke bikes debut year in 2003, Capirossi and Bayliss gave Ducati a good combo, but it was Capirossi who eventually scored a win much later in the season. In the opening race at Suzuka in Japan, Capi finished third at the finish line, taking the first of the 155 podiums obtained by the Italian factory squad. Also in 2003, at Mugello, the Desmosedici GP bike entered the history of motorcycling scoring the overall record of maximum speed (332,409 km/h with Capirossi). In their home race, at the Italian GP, Capirossi also took the second place, completing an all-Italian podium with Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi.
A few weeks later, Capirossi gave Ducati its first MotoGP victory at the Catalunya Grand Prix, after an exciting race at Montmelò Circuit. For the Italian, it was the first of seven successes achieved with the Desmosedici machine from 2003 to 2007. Bayliss, ran with Ducati from 2003 – 04 but only managed to capture a win in 2006 as a substitute at the season finale in Valencia. Bayliss stood in for the injured Sete Gibernau, after becoming Champion in WorldSBK with Ducati.
Fast forward to 2017, Dovizioso became the golden boy at Ducati having moved to the Italian outfit from Repsol Honda. 5-time MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo also joined Ducati that year to partner Dovizioso, but he did not fit in quite as well. He still managed three wins in his two short years at Ducati, all in 2018. Dovizioso contributed four wins that year. In 2019, Dovizioso is paired with rookie Danilo Petrucci, who won a race at the home of Ducatistis in Mugello. One notable rider mention is Valentino Rossi who rode for Ducati between 2011 – 12. Rossi in his two seasons there only had 3 podium finishes.
Ducati as a squad has triumphed on 19 different circuits: Motegi, Sepang, Losail and the Red Bull Ring are the tracks where it has achieved the most successes, winning five victories. Mugello, Montmelò and Phillip Island follow with four wins; Valencia and Brno with three wins; Misano and Donington with two and finally Sachsering, Assen, Jerez, Silverstone, Laguna Seca, Motorland Aragon, Shanghai and Istanbul with a win.
Among the 50 victories achieved since 2003, Ducati has also scored six 1-2, placing its riders on the first and second steps of the podium on six occasions.
In addition to the 50 victories, Ducati has taken 155 podiums in the premier class since 2003: 136 obtained by the official team riders and 19 obtained by satellite teams riders.
List of Ducati riders and number of wins
Casey Stoner 23
Andrea Dovizioso 14
Loris Capirossi 7
Jorge Lorenzo 3
Troy Bayliss 1
Andrea Iannone 1
Danilo Petrucci 1