Home Sports MotoGP and Sbk, Ducati with double number 1: only one precedent in history

MotoGP and Sbk, Ducati with double number 1: only one precedent in history

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MotoGP and Sbk, Ducati with double number 1: only one precedent in history

Francesco Bagnaia and Alvaro Bautista will display the symbols of supremacy on their hulls. It’s not the first time that a brand has had this privilege: it happened in 1996 with Honda

Federico Mariani

Ducati raises the curtain on 2023 and finds the number 1 clearly visible on the fairings of the racing cars of Francesco Bagnaia and Alvaro Bautista. The Italian, king of MotoGP, and the Spanish, Superbike world champion, have taken the same decision: to defend their respective titles conquered last season by showing off the symbol of supremacy. Two number ones exhibited from the same brand and in the same year. A rarity, but not an absolute first. You have to leaf through the almanacs going back to 1996.

first time

It fell to Honda to inaugurate the idea of ​​two number ones in the same season. In 1996 the HRC squadron could count on Mick Doohan, ruler of the 500. The Australian had crashed the competition in the previous two years and was preparing to repeat himself again in the following three years. Not satisfied, the Japanese giant also hired Carl Fogarty in Superbike, number one in the category after two golden years with Ducati. However, 1996 would not bring luck to the Briton, who was only fourth in the world championship for production-derived derivatives. For the double win, the second in its history, Honda would have had to wait for 1997 with the usual triumphs of Doohan in the 500cc and John Kocinski in the Superbike.

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Ducati can however boast of being the first brand to display the number one after a one-two finish. In fact, until now, those who had won the titles in the two most prestigious World Championships on the track had never had the opportunity to show off the double 1. The first one-two took place in 1989 signed by Honda with Eddie Lawson in the World Championship and Fred Merkel in Superbike. However, Lawson himself left HRC to return to Yamaha the following year. In 1998, however, Kocinski did not defend the throne, changing category and always denying Honda the option of the two number ones. An unthinkable idea in 2003, between Valentino Rossi, who would not leave the 46, and Colin Edwards who moved to Aprilia. Not even Yamaha was able to convince its standard-bearers after the double wins in 2009 and 2021. On the first occasion, Ben Spies, king of Superbike, changed championships; in the second case, however, it was Fabio Quartararo who kept the 20.

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