Another day, another MotoGP team launch presentation. This time, our eye candy comes from the Ducati Corse factory team, which hopes to find grand prix greatness in the 2022 season.
Though a third of the bikes on the 2022 grid will come from the factory workshop in Bologna, not all of those machines will be 2022-spec Ducati Desmosedici GP22 race bikes.
Additionally, the photos here are almost certainly not the machines we will see on the grid in Qatar at the start of the season, but the high-resolution photos do give an indication of how hard Ducati is pushing the rules and the progress in the MotoGP paddock.
Widely tipped to be the most powerful bike on the grid (talk of 300hp is perhaps exaggerated, though not far from the mark), the Ducati Desmosedici is also one of the most advanced bikes in MotoGP when it comes to aerodynamic development, with Gigi Dall’Igna and his team consistently finding new ways to extract the most out of the machine’s performance.
Ducati has also made great strides on its weaknesses over the years. Handling – specifically turn-in – continues to be a complaint from riders on the Bologna Bullets, but the issue is certainly less of a hinderance than it used to be.
The Ducati is fast in a straight line, and no longer a slouch in the turns. Combined with a constant stream of chassis and aerodynamic innovations, Borgo Panigale is often the reference for the progress of other teams.
After winning the manufacturer’s cup in 2021, one can thus make a strong argument that the Ducati is the best bike on the grid, and the factory has a deep talent pool of young riders who could easily be MotoGP champions one day.
Is that day going to be in 2022? That remains to be seen. Pecco Bagnaia is favorably looked upon for the honor this year, and one can never count out Jack Miller.
Ducati also has a future in riders like Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini, who will be on satellite-spec machines this season, but certain to steal a podium or two.
Meanwhile, the Pramac Ducati squad will see factory GP22’s in their garage, just like the official Ducati Corse team, which means we can expect strong results from Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin, both of whom made strong impressions last year.
The question for the 2022 season might not be whether Ducati can win the rider’s cup this year, but instead which of their riders will have the honor.
Of course to do that, they will have to defeat defending world champion Fabio Quartararo, and one can never discount a fully fit Marc Marquez on a heavily revamped Honda RC213V.
If 2021 was one of the best seasons ever in the MotoGP Championship, 2022 is already looking like an opportunity to surpass that high-water mark, which is certainly exciting to think about.
Until then, we will have to drool over some Italian two-wheeled porn in the gallery shots below.