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Ducati wins in motocross in Mantua: we hear from Paolo Ciabatti

INTERVIEW – “We faced this challenge with the same philosophy as MotoGP and Superbike. In the second part of the season we will have a wildcard in the World Championship and we are talking to Cairoli about getting him to do a race. MotoGP? For now I don't miss it too much, motocross is more genuine."

News: Ducati wins in motocross in Mantua: we hear from Paolo Ciabatti

With this adventure in the world of motocross Ducati wrote a new chapter in its history. Over the weekend in Mantua, in the first round of the Italian Championship, Alessandro Lupino added more lustre to the colours of the Rosse when he achieved a historic triumph in Race 1.

In addition to the rider from Viterbo and the entire team that supported him, among the architects of this success is Paolo Ciabatti, who from this year is managing the off-road activity after leaving his role in MotoGP. In some ways it's almost strange to find the Turin manager on the dirt track, even though we've seen him in the MotoGP paddock for years.

We shared a chat with him about the recent weekend in Mantua.

“Obviously we are very enthusiastic about this start – Ciabatti told us – I hoped to start on the right foot in motocross and I think that our entire group has done a great job. In fact, we must not forget that our off-road project only started recently and only last year did the bike hit the track for the first tests. I want to underline this aspect, given that the development of the 450 is not yet completed."

Paolo, you won quicker in motocross than in MotoGP.

“Obviously they are two different contexts. In Mantua we took a first step, winning a race in the Italian Championship, but the journey is still long. After the Superpole on Saturday, Lupino dominated Race 1 on Sunday while disappointment remains for Race 2, where it was difficult to recover from twentieth position. However, within us there is the awareness that the path traced is the right one and all that remains to do is follow it."

Lupino said that the bike is a monster: how much MotoGP and Superbike is there in this victory?

“Although the working group is autonomous, we approached the development of the new bike with the same philosophy adopted in MotoGP and Superbike, thanks to a continuous exchange of information confirming the internal synergy within Ducati Corse. The intent is to have a winning and high-performance motorbike in order to allow our customers to have a high-level product, which can be purchased starting next year."

There is certainly no better business card in view of the adventure that awaits you in the World Championship.

“As I said before, the project is still in the development phase and there are various aspects to be refined, such as the suspension, which in the world of motocross has a lot of importance. Showa is with us and we are working to make our bike even more performing."

Speaking of the World Championship: many are expecting a first taster.

“I don't deny that we are talking about doing a wildcard in the second part of the season. At the moment we have not yet decided which round to participate in, but we will be ready for the appointment."

When will we see Cairoli racing on the Ducati?

“First of all I’d like to thank Tony, because together with Lupino they conducted extraordinary development work on the Ducati. We talked about this possibility with Cairoli and I know that he would be very happy to take part in a race with the 450. I think everyone would like to see him in action with our bike. What I can say is that he is training a lot to be in top shape and at the same time we will have to work hard to allow him to be in the best position once he gets on the Ducati."

Were you surprised by the impact that your victory has made?

“I'll just say one thing: the organizers of the Mantua weekend were really happy with our participation, because there were three times as many people in Mantua compared to last year”.

Your debut in the World Championship is expected in 2025. What sort of Ducati will it be? Do you already have any riders in mind?

“Obviously in the World Championship we will find super competitive teams like KTM, Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha. Our goal is to enter as protagonists initially aiming for the top five places in the ranking. The riders? We have already started talking to some and our interest is in those currently in the top five."

Motocross is probably your true home Paolo, but how strange is it to be back after so many years in MotoGP?

“For me it's a sort of return to my roots, because that's where it all started. It is a different paddock, more genuine than that of MotoGP, where you find the true enthusiast. MotoGP was a fantastic adventure, which I will always carry in my heart, peppered with many successes and wonderful people met over time, but now I'm here in the world of motocross."

Do you miss MotoGP?

“For the moment I don't miss it that much"


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