Following Ducati’s announcement in October that they’d be entering the off-road motorcycle market, starting with a 450cc motocross model developed in-house, the manufacturer from Borgo Panigale has announced the formation of a new division of their racing department - Ducati Corse Off-Road.
Separate from the existing Ducati Corse programme that oversees the brand’s factory campaigns in road racing, Ducati Corse Off-Road will deal with the organisation and management of Ducati’s factory presence in motocross competition. This will include participation in the MXGP World Championship and the AMA Supercross Championship – possibly as soon as this year. After establishing a presence in motocross, Ducati are also expected to enter enduro, rally raid and other off-road racing classes with motorcycles specific to those disciplines.
Paolo Ciabatti, Sporting Director of Ducati Corse from 2013 to 2023 and part of the brand’s successful MotoGP programme, has been named as General Manager for Ducati Corse Off-Road, with the aim of taking the Borgo Panigale company to success in the world of off-road. Ciabatti will report directly to Claudio Domenicali, the CEO of Ducati Motor Holding.
Although he’s out of Ducati Corse’s MotoGP programme, Ciabatti will retain responsibility for co-ordinating Ducati's road racing activities in national-level Superbike and Supersport championships (MotoAmerica, British Superbike, All Japan Superbike, Australian Superbike and CIV) throughout 2024.
Replacing Ciabatti is Mauro Grassilli. Formerly the Head of Marketing and Sponsorships at Ducati Corse, Grassillli's new title is Sporting, Marketing and Communications Director.
Ducati says the creation of Ducati Corse Off-Road will not have an impact on their presence in the MotoGP and World Superbike championships, where they won the Riders', Teams' and Constructors'/Manufacturers' Championships in both series last year.