News 21 Dec 2023

Ducati Corse signals intention to enter AMA Supercross

MotoGP figure Paulo Ciabatti named off-road general manager.

Image: Supplied.

Italian manufacturer Ducati has moved to officially signal its intention to enter Monster Energy AMA Supercross alongside a pending MXGP program expected to launch in 2025, after appointing high-profile MotoGP figure Paolo Ciabatti to head its Ducati Corse off-road project.

Ciabatti has been with the Borgo Panigale brand on and off over more than two decades, instrumental in its current MotoGP and World Superbike reign that sees Ducati Corse hold both world championships.

Ducati will debut in the Italian championship this year in a program that will be formally launched between 21-23 January at Ducati’s Campioni in Pista event. It was already announced in October that MXGP legend Tony Cairoli will work alongside countryman Alessandro Lupino in the development program.

While it’s unclear when Ducati will arrive in American Supercross, it is tipped to be by 2026 unless the brand fast-tracks its activities to enter both MXGP and AMA Supercross simultaneously in 2025. It’s initially developing a 450 class platform, before adding a 250 class program following that – the opposite to Triumph’s 250-first strategy in entering the sport.

“Following the recent announcement of a new project for a range of off-road models that will see the light in the near future, and which will use national motocross competitions as early as 2024 as an integral part of its product development plan with a 450 prototype entrusted to Alessandro Lupino, with the collaboration of Antonio Cairoli as high performance test rider, Ducati has decided to create the Off-Road Division of Ducati Corse,” a statement confirmed.

“The new division will deal with the organization and management of the sporting program, which includes participation in the MXGP World Championship and the AMA Supercross Championship in the next few years. Paolo Ciabatti, sporting director of Ducati Corse from 2013 to 2023, has been called to fill the role of general manager of the new Ducati Corse Off-Road, with the aim of taking the Borgo Panigale company to success also in the world of off-road.”

Ciabatti will also continue to coordinate Ducati’s activities in MotoAmerica and a broad series of national Superbike championships. His previous position as Ducati Corse sporting director will be filled by Mauro Grassilli, transferring from Ducati Corse head of marketing and sponsorships.