By Dan Moakes
March 14 2007
Ducati is by far the most successful manufacturer in the history of Superbike racing, with twelve World Championship rider titles (missing only five since 1990) and now more than 250 race victories. As with Doohan at Honda in GPs, Carl Fogarty and Ducati were the dominant Superbike force in the late nineties, with the Englishman winning four titles and 55 races. In addition, Ducati’s riders have been pretty dominant in the British series over recent years, even beyond the rule changes for the 2002 season.
Although Ducati’s four 125cc GP wins date back to the late 1950s, the 2003 season saw them join the growing list to dispute the MotoGP crown, with the four-stroke Desmosedici V4 bike. This new machine was piloted by top GP man Loris Capirossi, joined by Troy Bayliss, Carlos Checa and Sete Gibernau. The Italian was a first season race winner, adding five more in two years after the switch to Bridgestone tyres for 2005. Bayliss also managed a win in his one-off return at Valencia in 2006. Casey Stoner becomes Capirossi’s team-mate for the new 800cc era.
The 998 90° twin was pretty much the Superbike to have in 2002, with F02 and RS versions remaining prolific thereafter. However, from 2003 the works riders have had an even better machine in the 999, which is now onto the F07 version. The latest Ducati Corse pairing is Troy Bayliss and Lorenzo Lanzi, with the Australian adding the 2006 title to the one he took in 2001, and now placed second to Fogarty with 35 Ducati wins in SBK. Other Ducati runners this year will appear in the Pedercini, Sterilgarda and Caracchi teams. The 999 also runs in Britain, where Gregorio Lavilla was the 2005 champion with the Airwaves/GSE Racing outfit, and with his continuing partner Leon Haslam they will be challengers again.
Ducati’s success tally