Not long ago, Ducati pulled the covers off its Ducati Desmo450 MX motocross race bike. This bike made waves not only in the racing world, but the entire motorcycle industry, as it wasn’t just Ducati’s return to the single-cylinder space, it was also the brand’s first venture into the world of motocross.

So big was this development that Ducati established Ducati Corse Off-Road, a division of its racing department dedicated solely to its off-road exploits. With that, it was clear that Ducati was in full-force in the MX game, and on March 17, 2024, it made its debut at the Motocross Pro-Prestige MX1 Italian Championship.

Piloted by Alessandro Lupino, the new Ducati Desmo450 MX crushed expectations, taking pole position and winning its debut race. Lupino started at pole position, and did an excellent job of setting the pace. The track conditions were favorable, and Lupino and the Desmo450 MX rocketed across the finish line, retaining first place all throughout.

Alessandro Lupino sends it aboard the Ducati Desmo450 MX

Alessandro Lupino sends it aboard the Ducati Desmo450 MX

During the second heat, Ducati wasn’t so lucky as Lupino made a mistake, causing him to fall to the back of the pack. After a valiant effort, he managed to climb to seventh place at race end. Overall, Ducati took second place in the first round of the 2024 season—more than a promising start for a first-timer in the sport.

Behind the scenes at the Ducati paddock

Behind the scenes at the Ducati paddock

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Commenting on the race results, Alessandro Lupino expressed his excitement towards racing MX for Ducati, “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.”

Keeping an optimistic outlook, Lupino highlighted that despite messing up his second run, the engineers were able to gather vital data to further improve the bike in upcoming races. “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 analyze two completely different situations,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Ducati CEO himself, Claudio Domenicali, was all praises with the Ducati Corse Off-Road’s first foray into the MX world. “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," he said.

Ducati has always been about racing, and its stellar performance at the first round of the Motocross Pro-Prestige MX1 Italian Championship is proof that it’s more than ready to take on the MX world head on. The next round of the Italian MX Championship is set to take place from April 27 to 28, 2024, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Ducati will be prepping its bike to unleash nothing short of a stellar performance.

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