Paolo Ciabatti, Alessandro Lupino and Antonio Cairoli discuss Ducati’s new off-road project
During the Ducati 2024 official presentation, the exciting new off-road project was announced.
The new brand might not be entering the full MXGP World Championship until 2025 but they’re not messing around as they’ve already recruited some big names.
Paolo Ciabatti has been involved in the Ducati MotoGP project for many years but has took up the role of general manager of the Ducati Corse off-road project. Alessandro Lupino and Antonio Cairoli have also been signed up to develop the bike in 2024 to get it ready for the entire MXGP World Championship in 2025.
The pair will race the Italian Championship this year and are expected to contest selected MXGP rounds.
All three discussed the new project during the official presentation and you can get their thoughts below.
Paolo Ciabatti, General Manager of Ducati Corse Off-Road:
I think as you know, I have been trusted in a new role. This is a new start, a new beginning, a new project we have created. This will be the first time Ducati will compete in the off-road segment. This is thrilling and an exciting challenge. Maybe I am old enough to need new motivation from a different challenge. I am fully excited and this will be a year to develop the bike. We are going to face this current year by developing this new bike for the off-road competition.
The new bike has a name which is: Desmo450 MX. The bike has been developed in the past few months. I would like to thank Stefano Pezzuto and Antoine Meo who have developed this bike.
The riders developing the bike will help us be ready for the MXGP World Championship in 2025.
I would like to thank our partners, thanks to them we have been supported in this first stage of our new adventure. This year these two bikes will be competing in the Italian Championship and our goal is to develop the bikes as soon as possible.
I would like to thank Monster Energy because they are supporting us with other partners that will be crucial to our development in our first stages.
These two riders (Cairoli and Lupino) are just exceptional, and they have decided to embrace in this amazing project which is 100% Italian.
Being here is such a pleasure, this has not been a very easy decision or a very easy transition. In fact, I was perfectly comfortable where I was with my previous brand. I decided to take on a new responsibility. Making these changes are never easy but I felt something inside and felt motivated again from something different. I decided to embrace this new project and to dedicate myself to this programme and project in the best possible way. I would like to thank Ducati, the whole team and the whole staff as they have helped me a lot during the first stages of this adventure. Alessandro and I are good friends, he is a great tester and a great technical rider. He is one of the best Motocross racers in Italy so I would like to thank everybody for this new chapter.
I would say the first impression has been just amazing even if the bike was still in the initial stages of development. We have been impressed by this first draft version of the bike, let’s say and that is why everything happened so quickly. The bike was good right away in the first tests, that is why we are here today participating in this beautiful presentation.
I feel humbled and honoured, I have always wanted this beautiful presentation from home sitting on the sofa and I am now sitting on my bike for 2024 and the years ahead. Thanks for this honour I feel and thanks for letting me participate in this great family. I am enthusiast about the project and enthusiast about the bike. As you can see, the bike is just spectacular and just amazing.
I was extremely impressed when I tested it for the first time back in December. It was a prototype back in December and I wouldn’t have expected anything from the prototype but whilst I was riding it, I realised it wasn’t just a prototype. It was a new bike, and it was ready to race, that is why I made the comment that we are ready to compete in the first Grand Prix in Motocross. I can’t wait for one year and a half once this project will be over, I can’t wait to compete in the World Championship.
You can see more images of the bike, here.
Images: Ducati Corse