Ducati Headquarter Borgo Panigale

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Ducati, pride of Bologna

Updated on 27 November 2023 From Bologna Welcome

It's back to back for Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia and Ducati! The first ever winning Italian on a Ducati in the MotoGp World Championship has done it again, bringing the title back to Italy and to Bologna after last year victory. 

In addition to Bagnaia's splendid confirmation in MotoGP, the Bologna-based bike adds Álvaro Bautista's title defence in WorldSBK and Nicolò Bulega's first win in WorldSSP.

Ducati's history of passion, innovation and people of great ingenuity is deeply intertwined with the history of Bologna, and is emblematic of the world-famous phenomenon called MotorValley.


Ducati Factory, Borgo Panigale (1939)

Founded in 1926 as a radio and adding machine manufacturer in the Borgo Panigale district just outside the historic centre of Bologna, the company successfully rode the wave of elation triggered by Guglielmo Marconi’s invention of telegraphy. 


Ducati Radio, ph. Sailko

The production plant in Borgo Panigale was destroyed in the war and production adapted to a new era for the company: motorcycling. The story of the Bologna's Rossa began with its first auxiliary scooter (Cucciolo, 1946), which propelled it into the world of racing.


Cucciolo model, ph. Joost J. Bakker

In 1975 Ducati came under Italian state control, and was then involved mostly with industrial and automotive diesel engines. Motorcycles and racing were no longer a priority. 
The turning point came in 1985 when the company, part of the Cagiva Group and benefiting from greater investment in product development, won the Superbike World Championship in 1988. This was to be the first of many major successes. 


Ducati detail, ph. Thomas Vogt

The advent of the 1990s saw the decline of the post-consumerist ideology and the rise of the notion of identity construction through the goods one buys. Thus, the motorcycle increasingly became a symbol of the need for personal freedom and self-expression, channelling the desire for sharing and community-building which is so prevalent today. Production models evolved and began to aim for uniqueness.

But the time was not yet right for participating in races.

It was only in 2003 that Ducati began its MotoGP adventure and scored in a series of major competitions, with the first victories of Loris Capirossi.


Loris Capirossi, 2003, ph. Rikita

In 2007 Ducati topped the world championships with Australian driver Casey Stoner, who would soon became a legend for Ducati fans. In 2011 Ducati partnered with Valentino Rossi with Nicky Hayden. Rossi finished 7th in the world championship, but the company got 3rd place in the constructors' category. And again more success: Dovizioso won 2nd place in the 2017 world championship, and victory in the 2020 world championship as constructors' champion and finally the two world titles at the 2022 and 2023 MotoGP with Pecco Bagnaia.


There’s only one place to re-live Ducati's history and that is at its museum.

A large exhibition is on display in the parent factory, recounting the sociocultural background, important events and the state-of the-art technology from the past to the present. And for die-hard enthusiasts, the visit offers a special Museum + Factory option that gives them access to the top-secret section of the Borgo Panigale headquarters, where they can see just how a dream is born.

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