The History of Ducati

Grand Sport

Ducati became the eleventh brand in the Volkswagen Group portfolio on July 19, 2012. The acquisition of the legendary high-performance sports motorcycle manufacturer based in Borgo Panigale on the outskirts of Bologna, Italy, by Audi subsidiary Lamborghini Automobili S.p.A. marked the Group’s entry into the hard-fought two-wheeler market. The unmistakeable sound of the Ducati’s two-cylinder engine evokes echoes of Audi’s own historic DK W and NSU motorcycle brands.

Fabrik in Borgo Panigale
Grand Sport
Rennen in Imola

Following its gradual acquisition by motorcycle manufacturing concern Castiglioni Giovanni Varese, owned by brothers Claudio and Gianfranco Castiglioni, in 1985 Ducati became the premium-segment brand of the Cagiva group. Cagiva drove forward Ducati’s development activities, targeting new models at both the customer market and the race circuit. During the early 1990s, Cagiva enduro bikes powered by Ducati engines took the podium places in the great African rally events. The development of water-cooled four-valve two-cylinder engines paid off for Ducati in the newly created World Superbike Championship. The brand enjoyed a period of dominance from 1990 onwards, with a sustained string of victories over its large-volume competitors, and also turned its attention back to the motorcycle Grand Prix circuit.


Ducati’s breakthrough in the elite class of motorcycle racing, the 500 cc, came at the Imola 200-mile race on April 23, 1972. The works drivers on their modified two-cylinder 750 GT production bikes featuring high-performance desmodromic technology gained an impressive victory, finishing well ahead of their Japanese and European competitors’ recently upgraded four-cylinder engined models. After its success in Imola, Ducati stuck with the two-cylinder engine. Developed and enhanced over the years in a wide range of capacity variants for different models, it continues to be a defining feature of the brand to this day.

Monster 900
Panigale S Tricolore

Motorsport operations are run by a dedicated racing division, named Ducati Corse. Ducati operates a works team on the MotoGP circuit. In 2007, Ducati won the MotoGP manufacturers’ and drivers’ championships. In the World Superbike Championship Ducati has won a string of manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles, celebrating its 300th race victory in 2011.

The specified fuel consumption and emission data does not refer to a single vehicle and is not part of the offer but is only intended for comparison between different types of vehicles. Additional equipment and accessories (additional components, tyre formats, etc.) can alter relevant vehicle parameters such as weight, rolling resistance and aerodynamics, affecting the vehicle's fuel consumption, power consumption, CO2 emissions and driving performance values in addition to weather and traffic conditions and individual driving behavior. Further information on official fuel consumption data and official specific CO2 emissions for new passenger cars can be found in the "Guide to fuel economy, CO2 emissions and power consumption for new passenger car models", which is available free of charge from all sales dealerships and from DAT Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH, Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, D-73760 Ostfildern, Germany and at