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Home » Historic debut of the Ducati Desmo450 MX in the Italian Motocross Championship

Historic debut of the Ducati Desmo450 MX in the Italian Motocross Championship

The Borgo Panigale prototype, ridden by Alessandro Lupino, wins race one and finishes second overall in the debut of Ducati in Motocross
The results in Mantua confirm the validity of the technical base of the Desmo450 MX prototype, competing in the Italian Prestige Championship, to develop the bike which will go into production in 2025

Mantua, 17 March 2024 – The Ducati Desmo450 MX ridden by Alessandro Lupino has taken pole position and victory on its debut in the Motocross Pro-Prestige MX1 Italian Championship, finishing second overall in the first round of 2024. The prototype marks Ducati’s entry into specialist off-road racing and represents the first step in a project that will see the birth of a complete range of off-road motorcycles, developed on the most demanding of race tracks.

In the first round of the Italian MX1 Championship, held on the International Circuit of Mantua, the eight-time Italian Champion, after having set the best benchmark both in free practice and in qualifying, led the opening heat from the first to the last lap. In the second heat, after a difficult start, Lupino finished seventh after a great comeback, sealing the second overall place in the round.

Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, said: “This weekend in Mantua we wrote another chapter in the history of Ducati. Alessandro Lupino and our team gave us some great fun and, despite it being the first motocross race in our recent history, we immediately demonstrated outstanding performance. Best time in free practice, pole and victory in the first heat are truly a debut that lives up to expectations: we have gathered a lot of information which will be fundamental to best develop the bike that will be available to all enthusiasts next year. Congratulations to Alessandro and our entire off-road team, a fantastic start to a new story of sport and passion. ”

Alessandro Lupino, official rider of the Ducati Corse R&D – Factory MX Team: “These were two very exciting days, my debut with the Ducati was truly a dream: they told me it would be, but today I experienced it! Feeling like a Ducatista is a truly special sensation. Congratulations to all the guys who worked on this project, because in a very short time they created a spectacular bike, with a lot of potential, doing an incredible job. Together we wrote a page of history: first pole and first heat victory for the Ducati Desmo450 MX. Unfortunately, the second heat didn’t go as I would have liked: I got the start wrong and wasn’t able to recover. But that’s okay, now the engineers have the data to analyse two completely different situations!”

Marco Maddii, Team Manager Ducati Corse R&D – Factory MX Team: “Very positive weekend, we managed to bring home a lot of information and a lot of experience on the new bike. The pole position and the victory in race 1 and second place overall were a result that exceeded our expectations even if what we showed on the track we had the potential to win. Now we have a month before the next race where we will work to improve, we have shown that we are competitive and we want to fight for the championship all the way.”

Sunday’s two heats allowed Ducati engineers to collect the first important data to continue the development of the Desmo450 MX which, upon its debut, has confirmed the validity of the technical base of the prototype. The focus of the Ducati Off-Road project is a combination of the search for lightness pushed to the extreme, top-of-the-line components and engines characterized by a very broad delivery curve. The latter is obtained thanks to the utilization of the Desmodromic system, used on all the sports bikes of the Borgo Panigale company starting from MotoGP. Ducati is in fact the only company in the world that uses the same valve return system on its highest performing production motorcycles as it uses on racing prototypes.

The next round of the Italian Motocross Championship is scheduled for 20 and 21 April on the Cingoli (MC) circuit. In the meantime, the tests of the Ducati Corse R&D – Factory MX Team will continue together with Alessandro Lupino and Tony Cairoli, present in Mantua to support the eight-time Italian Motocross Champion.