Paddock Prophet

Jorge Lorenzo took a gamble joining Ducati’s MotoGP team in 2017, hoping to rekindle former glories. The three-time champ won 3 races on their difficult bike before disappointing 7th and 9th title finishes. Lorenzo persevered but blamed inconsistent cornering and chassis issues for lack of a title challenge.

He backed Ducati’s engineers to eventually build a championship bike, despite results not meeting expectations during his tenure. Now Ducati dominates MotoGP, with riders like Francesco Bagnaia maximizing their straight-line speed and cornering improvements. Lorenzo rues not having today’s bike back then, but played his part in advancing Desmosedici development.

Jorge Lorenzo’s Difficult Ducati Years Preceded Their MotoGP Domination

Jorge Lorenzo joined Ducati’s MotoGP team in 2017 with high hopes of bringing them their first riders’ championship since Casey Stoner in 2007. However, his two seasons with the Italian manufacturer ultimately ended in disappointment.


Lorenzo Showed Promise With Some Success

The three-time MotoGP champion saw some success with Ducati’s notoriously difficult to ride Desmosedici. He managed to win three races during his tenure. This included victories at iconic tracks like Mugello and Catalunya.

However, issues with consistency meant he was only able to finish the championships in seventh in 2017 and ninth in 2018. This fell well below expectations for a rider of Lorenzo’s pedigree.

Ducati’s Inferior Bike Hampered Results

While fast in a straight line, the Ducati Lorenzo rode remained tricky to handle through corners. The bike’s development lagged behind rivals like Honda and Yamaha at the time. Lorenzo believes this prevented him from challenging consistently at the front of races.

“It was not yet the best motorcycle, but it was the fastest.”

Lorenzo has since stated that even without an injured Marc Marquez, Ducati’s inferior bike at the time would have made a championship charge difficult in 2020.

Lorenzo Backed Ducati’s Engineering Prowess

However, Lorenzo says he joined Ducati because he had faith in the team’s engineering leader Gigi Dall’Igna. He knew Dall’Igna had a proven track record of building winning bikes.

“Sooner or later, Gigi was going to get the best bike.”

And Lorenzo has been proven right. Ducati’s persistence with development eventually led them to MotoGP supremacy in recent seasons.

Ducati Now Clear Title Favorites After Progress

Fast forward to 2023, and Ducati have established themselves as the dominant force in MotoGP. Their superior bike design and engineering has left rivals playing catch-up.

Reigning back-to-back champion Francesco Bagnaia has shown the full potential of the Desmosedici. Using the bike’s awesome straight line speed and much improved handling, he sealed Ducati’s first riders’ title in 15 years.

With 8 bikes on the MotoGP grid for 2024, double that of any rival, Ducati’s strength in depth is formidable. Their advantage leaves Lorenzo ruing what might have been had this level of bike performance come sooner.

Lorenzo Showed Perseverance Before Ducati’s Breakthrough

Despite Lorenzo’s Ducati struggles, he says the experience highlighted his perseverance and ability to ride around issues:

“I demonstrated, once again, that with tenacity and perseverance I could go fast on any motorcycle.”

He went on to emphasize this further by showing glimpses of promise at Honda as well before injury cut short his stint there.

So while Lorenzo couldn’t reap the rewards of Ducati’s eventual championship bike, he played a role in pushing their development forward during competitive racing.

FAQs About Jorge Lorenzo’s Time at Ducati

How many races did Jorge Lorenzo win with Ducati?

Lorenzo won 3 races during his 2 year Ducati tenure.

Where did Lorenzo finish in the rider’s championship during his Ducati years?

He finished 7th in 2017 and 9th in 2018 riding for Ducati.

What held Lorenzo back from winning a title at Ducati?

The Ducati bike he rode still lacked development compared to Hondas and Yamahas. Cornering and consistency issues meant he couldn’t fight for a championship.

Who did Lorenzo join Ducati hoping would improve their bike?

Lorenzo had faith in Ducati’s engineering guru Gigi Dall’Igna eventually making their bike a championship winner.

What rider showed the full potential of Ducati’s current MotoGP bike?

Francesco Bagnaia leveraged Ducati’s speed and new found handling to win back-to-back MotoGP titles in 2021 and 2022.

How many bikes will Ducati field in MotoGP in 2024?

Ducati will field 8 bikes on the MotoGP grid in 2024, double that of their nearest rivals.


Jorge Lorenzo took a chance on Ducati in hopes of winning another MotoGP championship. Despite showing promise by winning races, he struggled with consistency on their difficult bike. Lorenzo demonstrated his supreme ability by taming the fierce Ducati to extract podium finishes.

Though he failed to challenge for the title, his perseverance and feedback moved Ducati’s development forward. Now their engineering strides have created a dominant MotoGP force.

Lorenzo’s gamble may not have paid off in trophies during his tenure. But the Ducati he rides in legacy events represents the fulfilled championship potential he always believed possible. With more rider-friendly machines, today’s Desmosedici racers chase glory he helped set in motion.

Jorge Lorenzo played his part in Ducati’s road to MotoGP glory. See how their championship-winning bike evolved from the difficult early days by watching Lorenzo take on current Ducati riders in exciting legacy events.


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