Passion, sophistication and style personify Ducati.

Ducati and their passion for the unique

How Ducati turns a passion for the unique into a winning formula with desmodromic valves

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Passion, sophistication and style personify Ducati.
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Every racing team will claim its machines are unlike any other, but only Ducati Corse has a truly unique set-up that makes its bikes arguably the fastest and most powerful in MotoGP.

Ducati is the only manufacturer to currently use desmodromic valves in its engines, whereas their rivals use more conventional valvetrains.

Go back over 60 years and desmodromic valves were used successfully by one of the winning manufacturers in Formula 1. But, ever since Ducati won the 1956 Swedish Grand Prix with its 125 Desmo bike, the Italian race outfit has refined and retooled a system that no other team has.

Why desmodromic valves?

The first question must be ‘Why?’ Other teams admire the performance of Ducati engines, but not so much that they would work from the same blueprints. Additionally, while Ducati won the Championship in 2007, and, after a few difficult years, is rising again to the top to become one of the most competitive manufacturers on the grid, they have not dominated MotoGP.?




What are desmodromic valves and how do they fulfil the drive and passion for the unique on the Ducati Mission Winnow team?


"Desmodromic valves are a core value of the Ducati company,” says Paolo Ciabatti, Sporting Director of Ducati Corse. “We pride ourselves on innovation in some of our traditional solutions, but not for the sake of history or nostalgia. Other Ducati-only technical features used in our production models have been discarded, because they would limit our competitiveness in a full-prototype championship. But every one of the 55,000 models Ducati makes each year, from our MotoGP bikes to those in showrooms around the world, uses desmodromic valves."


- Paolo Ciabatti

Desmodromic valves are a core value of the Ducati company




Desmodromic valves are a core value of the Ducati company,” says Paolo Ciabatti, Sporting Director of Ducati Corse. “We pride ourselves on innovation in some of our traditional solutions, but not for the sake of history or nostalgia. Other Ducati-only technical features used in our production models have been discarded, because they would limit our competitiveness in a full-prototype championship. But every one of the 55,000 models Ducati makes each year, from our MotoGP bikes to those in showrooms around the world, uses desmodromic valves.

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Desmosedici model

At the start of every MotoGP season, Ducati Corse unveils a Desmosedici model (‘sedici’, 16 in Italian, for the sixteen valves in the engine) with greater power and smoother character than the last.

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Engines

With engines revving over 18,000rpm, it’s very difficult for Ducati to be overtaken on the straight.

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2017 and 2018 seasons

Ducati bounced back after a decade of somewhat unfulfilled potential. The team’s number one rider, Andrea Dovisioso, came second in the rider’s championship both years, while Ducati finished third and then second in the manufacturers’ championship, increasing both the pressure and desire to reach the top spot.


Ciabatti, like every member of his team, has the belief that they can win the ultimate prize. “We know what we must do to make it a reality: improve the bike as much as possible, and help the riders to be the best they can be.

Performance must be more consistent throughout the season: no mistakes, no ‘zeros’ on the score. But no bike, or rider, is perfect. We know that although other riders might not be as fast on the straights, they can recover any lost ground at the corners. We are working on solutions for this.”

Ducati team celebrating

By continually improving the desmodromic system, which it knows better than any other manufacturer, and adding new technology and unstinting innovation in design and engineering, Ducati Corse hopes to find the extra performance it needs to seal victory.

Davide Barana, Ducati Corse Technical Director, said, ‘Desmodromic valves are unique of Ducati, and is a very nice example of how our values can be found in a technical solution.’ Over a championship season of 19 races, anything can happen, and on the circuits where Ducati knows other teams can have an advantage, new race plans are being formulated to upset the odds.

After experiencing tough years, few in MotoGP outside of the team believed we could be where we are now.

- Paolo Ciabatti

One thing is for sure: Ducati never gives up. “After experiencing tough years,” says Ciabatti, “few in MotoGP outside of the team believed we could be where we are now, in terms of racing results. The world around us moves very fast and our competitors, for sure, will not help us. But we must never stop winnowing, innovating, and trying new things.”

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