Ducati’s Latest Racing Project Looks Scarily Good

Ducati made more history for itself over the weekend, taking its first overall victory in the Italian Prestige MX1 Championship

Alessandro Lupino, 2024 Italian Prestige MX1 Championship, Ponte a Egola. - Ducati/X
Alessandro Lupino, 2024 Italian Prestige MX1 Championship, Ponte a Egola. - Ducati/X

Ducati caught headlines heading into last weekend with the announcement that nine-time Motocross World Champion Antonio Cairoli would race for the brand for the first time. It then caught attention on the weekend itself, as it took a first overall victory in motocross.

It was Cairoli who kicked the Ponte a Egola round of the Italian Prestige MX1 Championship off strongly for Ducati. The Italian hadn’t raced since the 2022 Motocross of Nations 20 months ago but took victory in the first race at Ponte a Egola.

Alessandro Lupino, Antonio Cairoli, 2024 Italian Prestige MX1 Championship, Ponte a Egola. - Ducati/X
Alessandro Lupino, Antonio Cairoli, 2024 Italian Prestige MX1 Championship, Ponte a Egola. - Ducati/X

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Conditions were affirmatively treacherous, with heavy rain creating a deep, muddy track. Cairoli’s teammate and fellow Ducati development rider, Alessandro Lupino, took advantage in the second race to win his second moto of the season.

Lupino’s first win had come in the first race of round one at Mantova. That was Ducati’s first race win in motocross, and his second moto win gave Ducati its first overall victory in the Italian Prestige MX1 Championship, while simultaneously lifting Lupino into the lead of the championship.

Ducati’s prominence in the world of exclusive production motorcycles, as well as in circuit racing such as MotoGP and WorldSBK, meant that the announcement of its motocross project was met with much anticipation about the competitiveness of its Desmo450 MX. 

A sterner test for the project is likely to come next year when it’s expected to debut in the premier MXGP class of the Motocross World Championship, something which could be officially announced later this year at the Motocross of Nations at Matterley Basin in October. But the early signs from the Italian Championship are inarguably positive.

Image credit: Ducati Corse/X.

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