Ducati Motocross Bike Starts Off Its Race Season With A Bang

450desmo mx

In early February, we told you about the new Ducati motocross bike, the Desmo450 MX. The machine hit the headlines out of nowhere, with none of the usual strung-along teaser campaign. And while there had been hints of a Ducati motocross bike for a while, nobody was really taking it too seriously.

They’re taking it more seriously now. The Desmo450 MX had its race debut last weekend in Italy, and it performed very well. We’re talking: Best time in practice, pole position, and the first heat win of the weekend.

Alessandro Lupino flogs the Desmo450 MX. He’s already shown it’s a very capable machine. PHOTO CREDIT: Ducati

Unfortunately for Ducati, factory racer Alessandro Lupino wasn’t able to grab the second heat win, which meant that at weekend’s end, the prototype bike was in second overall in the Italian national motocross series, not first. But as Lupino said after the race, even that is good news—the engineers now have more data to work with, as they refine the motorcycle for its next race weekend:

These were two very exciting days, my debut with the Ducati was truly a dream: they told me it would be, but today I experienced it! Feeling like a Ducatista is a truly special sensation. Congratulations to all the guys who worked on this project, because in a very short time they created a spectacular bike, with a lot of potential, doing an incredible job. Together we wrote a page of history: first pole and first heat victory for the Ducati Desmo450 MX. Unfortunately, the second heat didn’t go as I would have liked: I got the start wrong and wasn’t able to recover. But that’s okay, now the engineers have the data to analyse two completely different situations!


That mindset was echoed by Claudio Domenicali, Ducati’s big boss:

Alessandro Lupino and our team gave us some great fun and, despite it being the first motocross race in our recent history, we immediately demonstrated outstanding performance. Best time in free practice, pole and victory in the first heat are truly a debut that lives up to expectations: we have gathered a lot of information which will be fundamental to best develop the bike that will be available to all enthusiasts next year.

From prototype to production in a year? Sounds aggressive, but this whole program (and the prototype resulting from the program) seems to be moving at a pretty rapid pace. Speaking of whih, the Desmo450 MX has its next race in the Italian MX series on April 27-28. You can bet there’s a lot of testing and tinkering going to happen before then.

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