«Ducati technology and beauty. Marquez? Difficult to catch him»- Corriere.it

«Ducati technology and beauty.  Marquez?  Difficult to catch him»- Corriere.it


Of Daniele Dallera and Daniele Sparisci

Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati, spoke of the stable’s magical moment: “A step forward, but the others were missing too”

Four bikes in the top five in the riders’ standings, almost double the points in the manufacturers’ standings compared to their closest rival (Ktm). Claudio Domenicali enjoys the magical moment of Ducati, the Bolognese managing director is a cocktail of passion and science. Successes on the track and on the market, where last year the Borgo Panigale company exceeded one billion in turnover.

Can you explain your «Ducati method» in three concepts?

«Passion, performance and family. Because in here they feel like they are part of a family».

Did you expect such domination in MotoGP?

«No. We knew we had a strong factory squad. As are our customer teams. We took a step forward, but the others were missing».

Who are the others?

«I thought Marquez and Quartararo would be our rivals, but instead they weren’t even able to go as fast as last year. Even Aprilia performed less than it had shown in the tests. Only Ktm has a great season».

Dorna wants to grant aid to the Japanese manufacturers to recover. What does it feel?

“Mixed feelings. We too are interested in a competitive championship with many manufacturers present. There is no closure in principle in re-evaluating the concession system. The important thing is to do it with balance, otherwise it would be too easy. In some ways it is also a recognition of the extraordinary work of Ducati. We are in favor of a spectacular World Cup that generates interest».

Isn’t that a way to turn the tables?

“You need balance. It shouldn’t be done during the current season. However, we understand the point of view of the organizers who deserve credit for a championship that is growing after difficult years of the pandemic”.

Have you set your terms yet?

«I spoke about it with Gigi Dall’Igna after the Assen race, we defined a common position».

But what do your Japanese colleagues say about this Ducati superpower?

«They hold their position, they are in difficulty and they are working to solve them. We are talking about companies that have made history for which the utmost respect is needed. All cycles end sooner or later and new ones begin. We too have gone through a negative period after Casey Stoner. We have recovered and now we are reaping the fruits of what we sowed 6-7 years ago».

Marc Marquez wants to escape from Honda. Would he take him to Ducati, even in a customer team?

“It would be very complex and difficult, in any situation.”

What is your opinion of the moment Marquez is living?

«At the first race of the year he was on pole after a complicated winter. Then Marc went too far with certain behaviors, but compared to his teammates it made the difference. At the Sachsenring, on a friendly track, he had high expectations. And instead he had to manage an unforeseen situation, he crashed five times. He has had a breakdown, he must be understood and respected. I hope to find him soon as an opponent».

Industrial production and racing department. How does he manage to reconcile the two?

«Ducati is special precisely because of this interweaving. There is a lot of technology transfer from the track to production bikes, we focus on skills and the ability to solve problems. And we do it thanks to young people who have graduated from our universities. It is a nice business card for the Italian education system».

In all of this, what does a CEO do?

«It creates harmony in the team, I feel like a facilitator. I listen to everyone: engineers, dealers, drivers, customers. I give my point of view on things and then I decide».

Who were his teachers?

«Some of my former bosses, whom I have also sometimes criticized. At the end of the eighties, for example, the company was small and in difficulty, choices had to be made, and there are those who had the courage to make them by mixing beauty and technology. Spreading the idea that Ducati should have challenged science. We proved it from the first day we arrived in MotoGP: on the podium in the first race, in 2003. And then the first bike with wings, in 2009».

It is said that after winning the title, a driver enters another dimension. Is this happening in Bagnaia?

«It is a continuous process of improvement, it is not a step from one year to another. Go from mistakes and lessons. Pecco proved it at the Sachsenring, “settling” for a second place. He is always generous but he is more aware, and he has a team behind him capable of supporting him».

Used to winning, how much does defeat burn?

“It always burns. But she gives the tension to better prepare you. Without Pecco’s generosity, and without the mistakes, there would not even have been the ability to dominate that we see now. It’s a balance that only great champions can find».

It was an unfortunate debut for Enea Bastianini, he was hurt right away. What message does he send you, and will you still bet on him in 2024 with so many fast youngsters like Martin or Bezzecchi?

«Full trust in Enea and in his performance. Last year he won four races. It’s hard to stay out and immediately find the same level as before. No change in sight.”

Instead, what is the message that Claudio Domenicali gives to himself and to his men every morning as he looks to the future?

«Bringing an Italian product to the top of the world. It is the reason why we enter the company happy. It’s a constant challenge on and off the track: we face a difficult world, accepting difficult challenges. Like that of electric mobility, you have to be alert and quick. You don’t live on income. Let’s enjoy the moment, carefully. Thinking about keeping Ducati competitive over the next fifteen years».

June 30, 2023 (change June 30, 2023 | 07:21)


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