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MotoGP, Pernat: "Gianfranco Castiglioni quarrelled with his brother Claudio to buy Ducati"

"I was present at the table, even though the economic part certainly didn't concern me. The two brothers stopped talking for a year and a half, their mother asked me to make peace between them. In the end, Gianfranco was right!"

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Ducati's victory in the MotoGP and SBK world championships is celebrated today in Bologna. A party at the height of a perfect season, with Pecco Bagnaia and Alvaro Bautista ready to receive the affection of the Ducatista people. A beautiful story and like all beautiful stories, it has experienced difficulties, joys, and pains. Carlo Pernat has been involved in the history of Ducati for over 35 years as a manager, first on one side of the fence, i.e. that of the companies, and then on the other, i.e. that of the riders.

Yesterday during our Bar Sport, he told us how the acquisition of Ducati by the brothers Gianfranco and Claudio Castiglioni – who at the time were in command of a Cagiva that called the shots - really went. The first step towards tonight's party actually took place thanks to a furious argument between the two brothers and here's how it went.

"Ducati was bought by the Castiglioni brothers in 1986 and I was there - Pernat told us - I've been around Ducati for 36 years! I was at the table, but I had nothing to do with the money. The one who really wanted to buy it, just to set things straight, was Gianfranco Castiglioni. He did everything to buy it, while his brother Claudio and his group, of which I was also a part, didn't want to know, absolutely zero. So much time has gone by that by now these things can be told ".

An acquisition that did not go down at all well with Claudio Castiglioni.

"Just think that when Gianfranco bought it, the two brothers didn't speak to each other for a year and a half, so much so that the mother, Signora Rosa, knowing that I was close to both of them, asked me to get them to agree, they didn't even spend Christmas together anymore. An incredible family brawl broke out. Claudio boycotted this thing for a year and a half, even if in the end Gianfranco was right. The following year Gianfranco himself bought Husqvarna from Elettrolux. And he did it not for the bikes they produced, but for the sales network they had to be able to use it to sell Ducatis".

After that of Ducati, Gianfranco made another crazy and courageous decision.

"A year later Gianfranco came to a meeting and said, 'I’ve bought the MV Agusta brand, I paid 3 billion for it'. And that was another screw-up with his brother! All Gianfranco's ideas, ideas that kept the brothers from talking for a long time. I remember that the first Dakar we did with Ducati engines, they all broke down. Yet there were smart people, like Farnè, Mengoli, who knew how to make motorcycles. If the Castiglionis hadn't been there, in fact Ducati would not have existed. They took it at a time when they were doing nothing. As soon as the Castiglionis arrived, they threw themselves headlong into SBK with Ducati and made history".


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