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Ciabatti confirms: "A 250cc engine will also arrive and we will do Supercross and Dakar"

Davide Perni, responsible for the Desmo 450X project, reveals: "We want to attract young people". Cairoli excited about returning to racing competition: "I'm here to help." Lupino's expectations are high: "The bike was born well."

Moto - News: Ciabatti confirms:

In the splendid setting of Madonna di Campiglio, Ducati Corse also presented, among other things, the motocross program, an unprecedented commitment for the Borgo Panigale manufacturer.

Defending the team colours will be the champion Antonio Cairoli and Alessandro Lupino. At the head of the project, however, is Davide Perni who designed the Desmo 450X.

And it was he who motivated the choice to give life to this adventure. “This is a strategic decision – he said – We would like to create premium offers for young people who perhaps in the future might buy a Multistrada. It's a serious plan, that's why we decided to start with racing a year before production. In this way we will be able to give our customers the best possible bike."

Having clarified the reasons for the commitment, the technician explained the genesis of the motorcycle. “The real name is 21J and it marries two principles: lightness and performance. We started from a blank sheet of paper, without any constraints. We have analysed our rivals extensively as this is a completely new sector for us. The Desmo, thanks to its ability to save power even at low revs, should help us. Structurally, hardness and weight can be modified without too many complications."

Whether this step was a real leap into the void is clarified by Paolo Ciabatti, elected as coordinator of the program after its creation between October and November last year. “It's a new world, but not that different at least in the way we relate to the promoters and the championship – he reflected – We will try to enter it with our style. I believe that having hired Tony and Alessandro to help us and guide us in our evolution is a clear sign of how serious our intentions are regarding the creation of a motorcycle that is as competitive as possible."

Among the activities planned for the not too distant future is also participation in Supercross. “To do this you need to have a bike that is as similar as possible to the one that can be purchased in shops and import 450 units by a certain date in the year in which you want to compete. We are only at the beginning of the journey and the bike will not be put into production until the second half of 2025. Racing today is only part of the process. The next step is to find the riders,” said the manager.

And precisely regarding the American Supercross championship he then revealed: “In 2023 we attended some events, and this year too Davide and I were at the opening. We are still evaluating who will be the partner with which we will enter in 2026 and working on it on a financial level."

Having been out of major motorsport for some time now, Cairoli wanted to give confidence to the project of the Rossa by putting his KTM past behind him: "I haven't raced at a high level for two seasons. As a bike it seems fun to ride. Having said that, I will not make comparisons with other brands, but will only give indications on development. The technique used is innovative. Something never used in off-road. Right from the first laps, I felt comfortable."

Lupino is also confident: “The 450 seems simple to ride and the engine is very powerful. I would define her as born well."

While waiting for the official tests, the two riders are training on rival bikes. Looking instead at those with which they will take part in the international and national series, Ciabatti revealed that there will only be aesthetic differences, such as the presence of sponsors instead of the number on the one at the start of the Italian championship.

The former MotoGP boss also revealed that he went to Saudi Arabia in recent weeks to discuss with the organizers about Ducati's future entry into the Dakar and therefore finished with a certainty. The creation of a 250 engine, available next year, which should allow the brand to participate in more off-road categories, starting with the Italian one.


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