Being CEO of Ducati right now is wonderful: the results on the track and those on the market go hand in hand and you just need to look at Claudio Domenicali's face to realize that he is experiencing a magical year. “We are also in the best moment from an industrial point of view, it is a positive moment in which sporting success acts as a lubricant in this machine which has its most important part in the technology of the products. We are investing in a brand that is very strong,” he says with understandable pride.
Let's start with racing…
“It was an unforgettable season, we had never achieved such a result and it is a matter of extraordinary pride. It's different from 2007, when we won the MotoGP title with Stoner but we had done it before the last race, this victory with Pecco was really hard, a great chase made it even better".
It hasn't always been rosy…
“I became CEO in 2013, even though I've been with Ducati for much longer, and it was a difficult time both in MotoGP and in SBK. We had somehow lost our way and we made an important reconstruction even with significant investments, not only in economic terms but also in terms of people. It's a dream, but we worked hard to bring it home, I think it was right to get it thanks to the efforts of so many people who gave their souls for it".
What has been the key moment in these years?
“I think the most important episode was the decision to restructure the racing department and to hire Gigi Dall'Igna, it was the key to the restart. We both had a plan to achieve this before, but the reality is always different. We mustn't forget that we've won the constructors' title for three years, so it came before the riders’ title, which is more important."
Will the difficult thing be reconfirming the result?
“Yes and no, in the meantime we have brought home a good result and Ducati had never before managed to win in MotoGP and SBK in the same year. We have decided that we will enjoy this season until January 31st, then we will start again. Everyone will start from scratch and we will have to prove that we deserve all the compliments the world is giving us. This makes the team start focused but also aware, with the intention of opening a cycle".
You will do it with an all-Italian team, made up of Bagnaia and Bastianini.
“Enea and Pecco are a wonderful team, we wanted them even if it was not easy to choose because we have created a very large nursery over time. We were undecided about Jorge Martin, then Enea actually deserved to move to the first team, he is the rider who won the most in 2022 after Pecco. It will be a sparkling team because they are two Italian guys, it won't be easy to keep them calm but it's part of the game, this too makes all the fans have fun".
Already this year in some GPs, such as Misano and Sepang, they made you jump from your seat…
"When one goes to the other side and thinks about what it took to get there and the difference between finishing with a bang or not... you would like to reduce the risk a little. For the fans, the more overtaking the better, both points of view are legitimate. Promoting Enea is a recognition of his talent, he is determined and wants to bring home the big result, we took him for that. On the other hand, it is very important that within the team there is even tough competition, but honest and fair, so it will be important to decide the rules of the game and talk to each other openly during the season so that they are respected".
Now let's talk about the Panigale V4Rs to celebrate the two titles: 63,000 euros is certainly a pretty price...
“It is certainly an expensive item, but also made in very limited numbers for our most passionate collectors. It has many titanium components, a special livery and each bike is signed by our riders: we already know that the most passionate Ducatisti will contend for it".