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Ducati reaches 1000 podiums! – GP Inside

Alvaro Bautista’s first place in Most, Czech Republic, gave Ducati the 1000th podium in its history in WorldSBK. A first for a brand in the world championship.

Dorna WorldSBK release:

The FIM World Superbike Championship was born in 1988, and Ducati Team Lucky won from the first race weekend with Marco Lucchinelli. A first podium was first achieved with a second place, before Race 2 was won. This podium in Race 1, gleaned in the cold of a Sunday morning at Donington Park, was only the first of a long series. 34 years later, another historic milestone has been reached by the manufacturer from Bologna: the 1000th podium, achieved in Race 1 at Most. An unmatched figure, an unparalleled story, an unthinkable feat, and more to come.

THE BEGINNINGS: on the box from the first race

Despite this initial success, Ducati’s only representative in 1988 was Lucchinelli, and the promises did not materialize. With two wins, two more podiums and a fifth place overall, Ducati is beaten by Honda for the title and finds itself behind Italian rival Bimota. The year 1989 was better: Lucchinelli, now team manager, supervised the arrival in the Championship of Raymond Roche; the Frenchman wins races and finishes third. At the end of the 1980s, Ducati had 16 podiums, seven victories, but no titles.

THE GOLDEN AGE: Ducati’s successes in the 90s

In 1990, Roche managed to put the Italian brand at the top by being crowned with a 57-point lead. He fought hard in 1991 but eventually lost his crown to fellow countryman Doug Polen. The manufacturer then accumulated 50 podiums before the end of 1991. With the help of Giancarlo Falappa, the Ducati legend, and Belgian star Stephane Mertens, Ducati reached 100 trophies after Jarama 1992, making it the first manufacturer to reach this figure, while Polen grabs the title. In 1993, despite the fact that Carl Fogarty and Giancarlo Falappa reached 150 podiums, Kawasaki took the crown back to Japan.

But the Italian manufacturer’s most successful rider is about to deliver the performances that will make him a hero at home in the UK and in Italy for Ducati. Carl Fogarty is crowned 1994 World Champion in the last race of the season, beating his rival Scott Russell. At the start of 1995, a double at Hockenheim – “Foggy” ahead of Fabrizio Pirovano – brought the number of podiums to 200, then Ducati won another riders’ title with Carl, the fifth out of six. Troy Corser also became a race winner and, at the dawn of the 1996 season, with Fogarty at Honda, the Australian was the favorite in only his second year. He won the title at home, in Race 1 at Phillip Island, while Pierfrancesco Chili is Ducati’s new Italian hero. Fogarty returned to Ducati in 1997 but did not ascend the throne. He arrived there in 1998 and gave Ducati its 300th podium by finishing third at Donington Park.

AFTER FOGARTY: the legacy continues

After winning four crowns in 1999, Fogarty suffered a career-ending injury in Australia in 2000. But a new era began to uphold the honor of “King Carl”. Troy Bayliss is the man for the job. If he offered Ducati its 375th podium at Misano, it was wildcard Steve Hislop who, at Donington Park, reached the bar of 400 podiums, while Ben Bostrom won five races in a row in 2001. The title went to Ducati thanks to Bayliss, with a 425th podium for Ducati in Race 2 at Assen. Although Bayliss did not retain his crown in 2002, the 500 trophies were within reach for the Borgo Panigale firm in 2003.

In an epic Race 1 at Silverstone, Neil Hodgson won at home but James Toseland took the 500th podium for the Ducatists. The drivers’ crown was won by Hodgson in 2003, before being taken by Toseland in 2004, when Noriyuki Haga offered the Italian marque’s 575th podium in Great Britain, this time at Brands Hatch. The 600th comes home to Regis Laconi’s last WorldSBK victory, in Race 2 at Misano in 2005.

After Suzuki clinched the crown in 2005, Troy Bayliss returned from MotoGP™ and retook the title in 2006. His rivalry with James Toseland was fierce and in 2007, despite winning Race 2 at Assen, the crown was gleaned by Honda and Toseland. Bayliss enters 2008 with one last goal to accomplish, claiming 11 wins and the title in his final season, with a win in his final race. The legacy continues in 2009 with Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio accumulating successes and podiums – Fabrizio’s third place in Race 1 at Misano being the 700th podium for the Ducatistas. But neither manages to win the title, finally won by Carlos Checa. This is the last Ducati Championship to date, and the Spaniard also signed the brand’s 300th victory in Race 1 at Silverstone.

THE MODERN ERA: no title but growing numbers

After further victories in 2012, it was three years before Ducati returned to the top step of the podium thanks to Chaz Davies at MotorLand Aragon. Some of Davies’ most iconic successes have come in red, such as his last-lap battle in Race 2 at Sepang in 2015, as well as his third-place finish at Misano, synonymous with the Ducatista’s 800th podium. Davies is fighting for the title in 2016 without winning it, then again in 2017. Marco Melandri is also back in the Championship, winning Race 2 at Misano. 2018 is another winning season for Ducati thanks to Davies and Melandri. A MotoGP™ star will however arrive for new records in 2019.

Alvaro Bautista’s transfer to WorldSBK is a success: 11 victories in a row, including Ducati’s 350th at MotorLand Aragon, in addition to the 900th podium. The title, however, escapes the Bologna brand. Bautista leaves but Scott Redding replaces him and signs three podiums from the first event at Phillip Island. He loses the title at Estoril, but with Davies winning Race 2 ahead of Redding, Ducati is on 950 podiums. The cuts continue to pile up in 2021 with Redding, Italian star Michael Ruben Rinaldi and rookie Axel Bassani. The return of Alvaro Bautista in 2022 makes it possible to further accelerate the pace, and to finally reach 1000 podiums in Most.

COLOSSAL FIGURES:

1000 – Ducati is the first manufacturer to achieve 1000 podiums in an individual FIM Road Racing World Championship.

382 – Of these 1000 podiums, 382 have been accompanied by a victory.

100/94 – With 100 podiums, Carl Fogarty is the rider who has won the most trophies for the brand, and accounts for 10% of all Ducati podiums. The second best is Troy Bayliss with 94.

55/52 – Fogarty has the most wins in Ducati WorldSBK history: 55. Bayliss is next with 52. They are the only two riders to have won more than 50 times for the brand.

52 – 52 different riders have made the podium for Ducati in WorldSBK, including five riders on the current grid: Alvaro Bautista, Scott Redding, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Axel Bassani and Loris Baz.

46 – Ducati has won on 46 circuits in WorldSBK, more than any other manufacturer. They failed at Mandalika, Oran Park, Paul Ricard, Moscow Raceway, Albacete and Istanbul Park.

34 – Ducati have scored at least one podium in 34 seasons in a row; no other manufacturer has reached such a figure.

8 – Eight riders have won WorldSBK titles with Ducati: Raymond Roche, Doug Polen, Carl Fogarty, Troy Corser, Troy Bayliss, Neil Hodgson, James Toseland and Carlos Checa.

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