Ducati is sticking around in MotoGP. It’s just announced a new contract that sees the Italian manufacturer participating in the world’s top roadracing series through 2026.
While the MotoGP rider’s championship went to Suzuki-mounted Joan Mir, Ducati managed to take the Constructors championship in MotoGP this past season, as Ducati-built bikes earned the most amount of points. It was the first time Ducati had won that trophy since 2007. No doubt that helped convince Ducati to stick around, but there’s more to it than that.
Every time Ducati announces a new variation of the V4 Panigale, there’s inevitably a mention of some feature that was “derived from the Ducati MotoGP bike” or some such line. The reality is that Ducati’s managed to leverage its MotoGP adventures very well, and it’s a constant source of marketeering hype as well as very real engineering discoveries that trickle down to its street-legal superbike. After all, Ducati actually started its V4-powered adventures in MotoGP, and it seems almost every corner of the Ducati lineup will have a V4-powered bike in it, eventually, probably even the Monster series. Even the Multistrada adventure series now has V4 machines.
In the press release, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali made mention of this: “Racing has always been a truly fundamental part of the Ducati brand and will remain so in the future. In fact, it represents not only a way to fuel the passion and cheer of the Ducatisti all over the world, but also an advanced research laboratory where the most sophisticated materials and the most innovative design methods are tested. It is also the training ground where our young engineers grow to provide our customers with state-of-the-art motorbikes in terms of technology and emotionality of use, as the Superleggera V4 and Multistrada V4 recently demonstrated.”
Going into 2021, Ducati’s signed Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia to its factory team. Those riders were also teammates in 2020, aboard the Pramac Ducati satellite team.