Tag: Ducati MotoGP

Ducati celebrates 50th Win Milestone

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

Dovizioso does a 3-peat at Red Bull Ring

It’s the fourth race of the shortened season, the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg took center stage for the MotoGP contenders, last Sunday. Ducati factory squad’s season finally kickstarted right with Andrea Dovizioso taking the win. Suzuki rider Joan Mir was at the runner-up spot while Jack Miller secured third for the factory Ducati Satellite squad. Brno GP winner Brad Binder was fourth best for factory KTM squad.

In a multiple red-flagged raee, Dovizioso captured his third consecutive victory at the Red Bull Ring. since the return of this race on the calendar in 2016. The race was delayed after the start due to an accident, but would resume with the Ducati man in pole position. He battled Miller for a few laps and successfully dispatched the Pramac rider for the lead. Mir in the Suzuki made some progress as he moved up to fourth by the time the red flag came out.  Both Suzukis of Mir and team mate Alex Rins made good progress at the restart, with Rins third and Mir fourth. Rins would go up to second at mid-distance of the race, but he crashed out without injuring himself. With Rins out, Miller took runner-up spot with Mir right behind. At this point, Dovizioso had a comfortable lead at the head of the order. On the last lap, there was a dogfight between Miller and Mir, which saw Mir take second from Miller in the last corner before the start-finish.

Dovizioso finished tops and brought himself back in contention in the Riders standings. He is second in the overall standings, only 11 points behind Fabio Quartararo.

The Austrian GP didn’t favor the Yamahas all too well, with only Rossi able to score a fifth spot, as the highest ranked Yamaha rider. After the Johann Zarco – Franco Morbidelli crash, the race had to be restarted. Rossi and Vinales were both lucky to escape the Zerco-Morbidelli crash. Rossi would bounce back strong and made a good start from seventh place and put his head down. He was fighting with Binder but couldn’t quite make a move on him. With multiple riders crashing out, the Yamaha rider found himself in fifth place. He kept applying pressure on Binder until the very end but finished fifth, 5.837s from first.

Vinales would fall to last place after the restart, due to a technical issue. The Spaniard stuck with it. He rode a strong comeback race once he got back into the groove and made up a total of ten positions. Spurred on by the progress he was making, he began to quicken his pace and set his best time in the second-to-last lap to finally cross the finish line in tenth place.

The Yamaha SRT squad had no luck this time around as Quartararo managed to finish eighth behind Takashi Nakagami and Danilo Petrucci. Quartararo battled hard through the race with a brake issue and had to comeback from dead last. He made a positive comeback by picking off riders one by one. He would eventually cross the line in eighth, ahead of the second KTM Tech 3 rider of Iker Lecouna.

The next race remains at the Red Bull Ring for round six and the third of three races in a row, 21 – 23 August.

Race of Spielberg results

1         DOVIZIOSO Andrea          Ducati            28’20.853

2         MIR Joan                 Suzuki          +1.377

3         MILLER Jack            Pramac Racing        1.549

4         BINDER Brad          KTM   5.536

5         ROSSI Valentino     Yamaha MotoGP     5.837

6         NAKAGAMI Takaaki          LCR Honda              6.403

7         PETRUCCI Danilo   Ducati 12.498

8         QUARTARARO Fabio Yamaha SRT                  12.534

9         LECOUNA Iker        KTM Tech 3             14.117

10       VINALES Maverick  Yamaha MotoGP           15.276

Riders standings

           QUARTARARO Fabio        67      

2         DOVIZIOSO Andrea          56      

3         VINALES Maverick  48      

4         BINDER Brad          41

5         ROSSI Valentino     38      

6         NAKAGAMI Takaaki          37      

7         MILLER Jack            36      

8         MIR Joan      31      

9         MORBIDELLI Franco         31      

10       ZARCO Johann       28

Ducati MotoGP sounds off title aspirations for 2020 season

Ducati MotoGP has unveiled its 2020 challenger ahead of the new season of the Premier two-wheel racing series. As last season, the team have stuck with its title sponsors and is still known as the Mission Winnow Ducati team.

For 2020, the team’s riders remain Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci who took the covers off the new liveried Desmosedici GP20 challenger at the intro ceremony in Bologna. The GP20 is decked out in bright red with a few details in black and chrome. First assignment for the 2020 bike is the pre-season tests coming up. The first test is slated for 7 – 9 February at the Sepang track. The 2020 MotoGP season starts in early March at the Losail Circuit in Qatar. There are a grand total of twenty races scheduled this season.

The GP20 as a legitimate contender in 2020

The GP20 has been revised for the better from last season’s exploits. It’s got an engine that features a counter-rotating crankshaft, a spine and slice traction control. The new elements contribute to a more efficient aerodynamics, alongside the new aerofoils. This means the bike is even faster and has a competitive edge over its rivals.

Ducati hopes for a better competitive edge against their Japanese opponents i.e. the Hondas and Yamahas. The team would again rely on Dovizioso and Petrucci on their quest for MotoGP glory. “Last year we finished as runner-up for the third consecutive time behind Marc Màrquez, a rider that for sure made the difference last year, but we also did our best managing well our potential. Every year has its own story, and it is not easy to predict what will happen in 2020. Our goal is clear; we want to challenge for the title again,” Dovizioso remarked.

“I know our rivals will be back stronger this year, but that counts for me too. I have been improving and growing each season, and this year I want to confirm my results and make further steps forward compared to last year,” Petrucci concluded.

Ducati and fellow MotoGP manufacturers are preparing for the first pre-season test coming up on 7 February at Sepang.

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