Ducati Racing History
Founded by brothers Adriano, Bruno and Marcello Cavalieri Ducati in July 1926, Ducati first made its name producing radio transmitters. By the start of World War Two the company employed 7000 employees and had expanded its range of products to include electric razors, intercoms, calculating machines, cameras and movie cameras. In 1946, as Italy tried to get back on the road after the war, Ducati was commencing the manufacture of its first engine - the Cucciolo (Italian for 'puppy') four-stroke moped motor, used to power bicycles.
1950 - 50cc Cucciolo establishes 12 speed records.
1951 - 100cc Cucciolo establishes 24-hour speed and endurance records.
1954 - Ducati's most renowned engineer, Fabio Taglioni, starts work with the factory.
1956 - Taglioni-designed desmodromic 125 single wins non-championship Swedish GP with Gianni Degli Antoni. With the same bike, Sandro Artusi scores Ducati's first World Championship points at Monza.
1958 - Ducati wins three 125 Grands Prix (with Alberto Gandossi and Bruno Spaggiari) and takes second place in the 125 riders' and manufacturers' World Championships.
1960 - Mike 'The Bike' Hailwood scores Ducati's first 250 World Championship points, riding an inline 250 desmo twin.
1965 - Taglioni designs inline non-desmo four-cylinder 125, but the bike is never raced.
1971 - Ducati's first premier-class GP racer and first V-twin takes to the tracks. Briton Phil Read scores the 500 GP's first World Championship points at Monza.
1972 - Ducati scores its most famous early success when Paul Smart rides a GT750 desmo V-twin to victory in the Imola 200.
1975 - Ducati 860 desmo V-twin wins the Barcelona 24 Hours with riders Benjamin Grau and Salvador Canellas.
1978 - Former World Champion Mike Hailwood wins fairytale Isle Man TT comeback aboard a 900SS F1 special, securing Ducati's first World Championship crown. In the States, future World Champion Freddie Spencer rides a 900SS to third in the Daytona 200.
1981 - Ducati scores the first of four successive Formula 2 World Championships, with Tony Rutter riding a 600cc Pantah TT2.
1987 - Former 500 World Champion Marco Lucchinelli scres the first success of Ducati's new era, riding the all-new eight-valve V-twin 851 to victory in the Daytona Battle of the Twins. This bike, its engine created by Massimo Bordi, is the forerunner of the legendary 916.
1988 - Lucchinelli and the 851 win the first round of the inaugural World Superbike Championship at Donington Park, finishing the season fifth overall.
1990 - Raymond Roche takes Ducati's first World Superbike crown aboard the 134 HP Ducati 888. American Doug Polen continues the factory's domination of the series with victory in the '91 and '92 championships. The following year Polen scores Ducati's first US Superbike title success.
1994 - Ducati unleash the 916 that wins the Superbike title at its first attempt, with Carl Fogarty on board. The Briton repeats the feat the following year, with Troy Corser securing Ducati a title hat-trick in 1996.
1998 - Fogarty takes his third Superbike title aboard the 996 and backs it up with a fourth crown in 1999, the year in which all factory racing activity was incorporated into Ducati Corse under one roof.
2001 - Australian Troy Bayliss secures the marque's ninth World Superbike riders' crown with the 996 Testastretta. In May Ducati announces its decision to participate in the new MotoGP World Championship.
2002 - Bayliss leads the World Superbike Championship, finishing the year a close second, before starting testing of the Desmosedici, alongside new team-mate Loris Capirossi. The V4 makes its public debut at November's season-ending Valencia MotoGP event, and breaks its first lap record the following month at Jerez, Spain.
2003 - Capirossi and Bayliss have a sensational debut season with the Desmosedici, the Italian finishing on the podium in the bike's first race and following this up with extraordinary win in the Catalunya GP. Ducati finish second overall while Loris and Troy finish fourth and sixth respectively. Hodgson dominates the World Superbike season with the all-new 999 to take the riders' title and, together with Xaus, clinch Ducati's twelfth manufacturers' crown.
2004 - 24 year-old James Toseland becomes the youngest ever World Superbike champion as he powers the 999 to its second successive title win. Team-mate Régis Laconi finishes runner-up to ensure Ducati's thirteenth manufacturers' title. Youngster Lorenzo Lanzi campaigns a 749 in Ducati's return to World Supersport, finishing a creditable fifth overall. In MotoGP both Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss succeeded in finishing the season on a high note, a difficult season which saw both Ducati riders finish on the podium, thus demonstrating the worth of the Desmosedici MotoGP project.