Ducati is historic

A tremendous year. Without a doubt, 2022 will enter the Ducati history books as if it were a dream. After 15 years in search of a winning driver, the Italian brand has found it in its own youth academy. An Italian rider winning with the legendary Borgo Panigale brand in the MotoGP World Championship. A fact that had not been seen for more than 50 years. More than half a century chasing an illusion that, now, It is a dream come true. Pecco Bagnaia is the new idol of Italy, taking over from his benchmark, Valentino Rossi, just one year after his retirement. “I felt the whole story on my shoulders,” acknowledged the team’s official driver after being champion. And it is not for less, because thanks to him, Ducati is once again historic.

But it is that the reminiscence of the Italian brand has not focused only on MotoGP. Ducati wanted more and they knew they could aspire to more. That is why they did not let their rivals breathe in the Superbike World Championship. After a season of success after success, Álvaro Bautista gave the Italians a second joy and was proclaimed world champion in style. He had no rival, he ate great champions like Toprak Razgatlioglu or Jonathan Rea and, on his return to Ducati after a disastrous time at Honda, he was able to redeem himself. His talent persists, so he wanted to show it and that gave it its pass to the history books of the brand. And it is that, as if the milestones were few, Ducati achieved the double crown in both championships for the first time since its birth. Kings of MotoGP and WorldSBK. Kings of the motorcycling world.

And it is that few brands can boast of such historical data. In fact, those from Borgo Paniglae are the first of the European brands to enter this hall of fame. It has only happened five more times and, in addition to the recently crowned, only two more manufacturers hold this milestone. And both are Japanese. Honda was the first to achieve this in 1989 with Eddie Lawson and Fred Marcel. They repeated in 1997, with Mick Doohan and John Kocinski; and the last one, in 2002 with Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards. Yamaha was the second of the brands to be crowned twice: the first in 2009 with Valentino Rossi and Ben Spies; the last one just a year ago, in 2021 with Fabio Quartararo and Toprak Razgatlioglu. And now Ducati is up to it.

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But be careful with the Italians. They have celebrated it in style and, with a recently launched 2023, they get down to work to repeat the feat. They continue to have the most powerful bikes, yet to see what their rivals can bring to the next Sepang tests and, although it is still early to speak, they want to hold on to a crown that has taken more than a decade to arrive. And they already warned it with the end of the year in Valencia. “Ducati won’t take another 15 years to win the MotoGP title again,” insisted Paolo Ciabatti, the brand’s sports director in MotoGP, to this newspaper, who had to wait since 2007, with Casey Stoner, for another rider who could take him to the highest. With Bagnaia they have achieved it, although the difficult thing will be to stay. The new course is already underway.

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