Extended commitment in the top class of motorcycle racing
Francesco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini to compete with the red rhombus
Partnership between Ducati and Audi Sport complements existing collaboration in the Premium Brand Group
Audi Sport is partner of the Ducati factory team in MotoGP, the premier class of motorcycle racing. Starting with the season opener at Portimão (Portugal) this weekend, the two Desmosedici GP of reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia and his teammate Enea Bastianini will compete with the red rhombus. At Audi, it stands for the high-performance models of Audi Sport GmbH.
“We are delighted to be partnering with the Ducati Lenovo Team,” says Sebastian Grams, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “Ducati and Audi Sport GmbH are connected by highly emotional products that are a perfect match. Anyone who owns a Ducati motorcycle is potentially also interested in our R and RS models. On the other hand, we know from many of our customers that they could also imagine riding a Ducati. We want to exploit this potential for joint products and customer experiences. We have many exciting ideas that we want to implement step by step.”
“Ducati is part of the Premium Brand Group, to which we motorsport enthusiasts are naturally particularly close,” says Rolf Michl, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH and Head of Motorsport at Audi.
“We are united by our sporting genes and successes on the race track. We had a joint test of our Audi RS Q e-tron and the Ducati DesertX last year. A valuable exchange of experience took place during the event. We will intensify this thanks to the new partnership. In addition, motorcycle racing is on the verge of the same transformation toward electromobility as Audi is undergoing in motorsport.”
In the Premium Brand Group, which in addition to Audi and Ducati also includes Lamborghini and Bentley, the automobile and two-wheel manufacturers already work closely together.
“Audi is a pioneer in the transition to e-mobility. Here, the other brands can benefit from our experience,” says Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management at AUDI AG. He adds that there are also joint projects in production or sales, for example with a pilot project in which dealership partners sell Ducati motorcycles and Audi models under one roof.
“The partnership between Ducati and Audi Sport perfectly complements the existing cooperation within the brand group. In terms of sporting success on the race track, Ducati is a role model for us for our future involvement in Formula 1.”
“As a car and motorcycle enthusiast, I have always been attracted to Audi’s RS models, which are unique in combining strong excitement and usability for the whole family”, says Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati.
“They are the cars that our riders use daily with great satisfaction. For these reasons, I am proud that Audi Sport is together with the Ducati Lenovo Team in the technological and sporting challenge of MotoGP. Audi Sport and Ducati have a lot in common, and I’m sure that the MotoGP environment and the collaborations between our R&D and Style groups will be able to generate great content for two- and four-wheel enthusiasts.”
Ducati has been involved in MotoGP from the factory since 2003 and won the world title for the first time with Australian Casey Stoner in 2007. Last year, Italian Francesco Bagnaia secured the world title on the Ducati Lenovo Team’s Desmosedici GP.
This year, he is the defending champion. His new teammate is his Italian compatriot Enea Bastianini, who finished third with Gresini Racing in 2022 and has now been promoted to the factory team.
The new MotoGP season begins with the Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimão this weekend. A total of 21 world championship rounds are scheduled. On June 18, the world championship will also head to Germany for a Grand Prix at the Sachsenring.
In parallel to its factory involvement in MotoGP, Ducati will also be supplying the motorcycles for FIM MotoE World Championship, MotoGP’s electric category, for the first time in 2023 – as the sole official motorcycle supplier.
The partnership between Audi Sport and Ducati started with a victory: Francesco Bagnaia won the first sprint race in MotoGP history at Portimão on Saturday.