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Ducati’s curious parallels between race numbers and MotoGP victories

In Ducati’s still young MotoGP history, there have been several occasions when the right race number has clinched victory – will the series continue?

When Jorge Martin took victory on his Pramac-Ducati at the 2024 Portuguese Grand Prix in Portimao last Sunday, it was the 89th MotoGP win for Ducati in total. Only the Grands Prix are counted here, not the sprints

The curious thing is that the 89th Ducati victory was achieved with start number 89. But that’s not all: in Ducati’s still relatively short MotoGP history since 2003, this is now the fourth time that there has been such a parallel between victory and start number.

This is because the 27th Ducati victory, the 63rd Ducati victory and the 72nd Ducati victory in the premier class of the motorcycle world championship were all achieved with exactly the right start number.

The 27th Ducati victory was secured by Casey Stoner at the 2009 Australian Grand Prix on Phillip Island. The factory team’s traditionally red-painted Desmosedici was painted white with its start number 27 on race Sunday. It was a special design with which Stoner contested his home race. Team-mate Nicky Hayden rode in the traditional red.

The 63rd Ducati victory in the premier class of the motorcycle world championship was then secured by a red Ducati, and at the manufacturer’s home race to boot. It was Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia with start number 63 who triumphed at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix in Mugello.

The 72nd Ducati victory went to Marco Bezzecchi on the VR46 Ducati with start number 72 at the 2023 Argentine Grand Prix in Termas de Rio Hondo. It was the first MotoGP victory for both Bezzecchi and the VR46 team.

The 89th Ducati victory in the MotoGP class has now been secured by Jorge Martin on the Pramac-Ducati with start number 89 at the 2024 Portuguese Grand Prix in Portimao. The question remains as to whether the fourth next Ducati victory will also bring another such parallel, then with the number 93…

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