Momentum is gathering around Ducati’s maiden MXGP venure with an advanced prototype of their unnamed 450 due to begin track tests in the coming weeks.
The Bologna-based firm, reigning world champions in both MotoGP and WorldSBK, will target the 2025 MXGP FIM World Championship to launch the project.
Ducati first spoke unofficially of their intentions to attempt Grand Prix with an official entry during the summer of 2022. The Italians were developing an off-road engine and the goal to race at the highest level followed the release of their exotic adventure/Enduro model, the DesertX, that was recently taken to its class victory in the Erzbergrodeo Prologue by former Enduro World Champion Antoine Meo.
The 450 four-stroke concept will make its first testing laps before July and Ducati could officially announce their racing plans before the end of 2023, although it is believed they will initially compete in the 2024 Italian Championship as a preliminary phase before a full Grand Prix effort emerges in 2025.
Ducati will commit to the world championship and an R&D cycle in Grand Prix before confirming plans for AMA Supercross. They have been linked with the Maddii family, Corrado and Marco, and their European Championship-winning team that currently field Fantic machinery in MXGP and EMX.
Ducati sold more than 60,000 motorcycles in 2022 and topped a one billion euro revenue total: new records for the firm owned by the Volkswagen Group.
By Adam Wheeler/ DesertX photos by Ducati Media House