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Technology and riders: how Ducati transformed the MotoGP into a 'single-make' championship

At least one Desmosedici has been on the front row for the last 42 GPs, on the podium for 28, on Sunday in Argentina it monopolized the scene with its 'satellite' riders. The Reds have gone from being David to Goliath

MotoGP: Technology and riders: how Ducati transformed the MotoGP into a 'single-make' championship

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After just two Grand Prix races, we might know who will win the Riders' World Championship, but we have serious doubts that anyone else will take away the Manufacturers' World Championship title from Ducati. The current standings offer a crystal clear verdict, with the Borgo Panigale manufacturer scoring 71 of the 74 points available, which is already almost double the score of second in the standings, KTM with 38. Then there is Aprilia (32), Yamaha (27) and, bringing up the rear, Honda (20).

This is no surprise, because there has been at least one Desmosedici on the front row for the last 42 Grands Prix (since Valencia 2020) and on the podium for 28. These numbers perfectly sum up the domination of the Reds that have been monopolizing MotoGP for some years, with the icing on the cake of Bagnaia's title last year.

'It’s easy with 8 bikes', we already hear the reply, but it cannot be Borgo Panigale’s fault that it supplies more than a third of the riders on the grid. Even the top management of the Reds knows that it is an anomaly, but if it happened it is because the other manufacturers were unwilling or unable to supply their bikes to satellite teams. Without forgetting that quantity is not necessarily synonymous with quality.

Precisely in this sense, Ducati has made all the difference, both from a technical and sporting point of view. Having 8 Desmosedicis on the track (16 in the pits) means a big commitment. It certainly means a huge amount of useful data for development and for carrying out various tests during the race weekends, but also an important logistical commitment. Not to mention that it is also necessary to supply competitive bikes to 'privateers'. That's exactly what Ducati did.

Last year Bastianini won 4 races with the 'old' GP21, on Sunday there were three GP22s on the podium in Argentina. All signs that Ducati has a solid foundation and that the bikes from the previous year are a forbidden dream even for the official riders of the other brands. Thanks to the careful attention of Gigi Dall'Igna and his men, that crazed bull we had known in the days of Capirossi and Stoner has become tame, without losing its drive.

Try asking Alex Marquez, a rider who seemed destined for an early retirement, and who was in pole position and on the podium after just two GPs on the Rossa. Apart from Di Giannantonio (who in any case took pole last year) 7 of the 8 riders have managed to get on the podium with the Desmosedici (Marini was last in Saturday's sprint race). Even the rookies are getting on well, as Bastianini and then Bezzecchi demonstrated in their debut seasons.

And now we come to the subject of the riders, equally important. Maybe after getting its fingers burnt with Jorge Lorenzo (a lot of money and few results), Ducati's policy has changed. Instead of going in search of a star in the current MotoGP constellation, it decided to invest in young riders. Little expense and a lot of performance - as the saying goes - with Bagnaia and Bastianini as the best examples (but it also applies to Bezzecchi, even if his contract is with the team and not with the manufacturer), without forgetting Martin and Marini.

In Dovizioso's time, either he won or it was a disaster (with some exceptions to the rule), now even on a bad day for Pecco there are those riders who are ready to take his place. So much so that the world champion’s main rivals are ‘in-house’.

In the early years of Ducati in MotoGP, the most used image was that of David against Goliath. Things now appear to have changed, with the Japanese giants dwarfed and the Reds grown to the size of a behemoth. A new cycle seems to have already begun, for some years now.

 

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