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Interview: Stefano Pezzuto – Ducati’s test rider

Interview: Stefano Pezzuto – Ducati’s test rider
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With Ducati unveiling their MX model – Desmo450 MX earlier in the week, we decided to catch up with one the riders involved in the testing and development of the bike.

Experienced Italian rider, Stefan Pezzuto has been testing the machine along with Antoine Meo which started at the end of July last year. Alessandro Lupino and Antonio Cairoli starting in December so there’s now four riders involved in the testing of the new machine to get it up to speed.

We caught up with Pezzuto to discuss the new bike and more – in the Italian Championship he’ll be racing against the bike he’s helped test!

On being part of the Ducati project… 

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I received a call some time ago to do some other types of tests and from there I met with the head of this project. After a few months he contacted me to ask me if I was interested in collaborating on the development of the bike. Obviously my answer was immediately a very big yes.  It’s fantastic to be part of the Ducati project. It’s also a great satisfaction to have been the first to get on the new bike and take it on the track. The work group is fantastic and I get along very well. I started testing the porotype around the end of July, beginning of August. 

On the first time he got on the bike and making improvements… 

I immediately felt good, it already felt like a ‘motorcycle’ and not a ‘prototype’. We have done many tests with the bike, many variations and with each test we bring home great improvements. The bike is already at an excellent level, but we need to continue developing it to bring it to 110%. The goal is to always improve it, to make a bike suitable for everyone – even more comfortable, easier to handle and more stable stable.

On such a big brand entering the MX world…

it is a beautiful thing for the world of motocross that such an important company enters this world. It will certainly make it much more visible even to people who had never considered it. 

On working closely with Antoine Meo, Antonio Cairoli and Alessandro Lupino…

It has been beautiful. I didn’t know Antoine in person, I was used to seeing him on video tapes and it’s an honour to work with him. He is a very good person and a very good test driver, he is teaching me a lot and I want to thank him.  They (Cairoli and Lupino) tried the bike for the first time when they were in Sicily, but Antoine and I had already left. We have done few outings together but they will certainly help the development a lot, especially for the racing part. 

On keeping the project a secret and racing against the bike in the Italian championship later this year…

Yes but it’s simple, just stay quiet and stay away from social media. We worked a lot in secret (laughs). I’ll have to not reveal everything to Antonio and Alessandro, so maybe I can gain a few seconds (laughs). 

Interview: Andy McKinstry

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