Next to feature in Road Racing News Famous TT Marques series is 14 times World Superbike Champion’s Ducati.
Since first entering the biking scene in 1950 the Bologna based company, dubbed by many as the ‘Ferrari of Motorcycling’ has excelled and some across all areas of two wheel racing.
TT Races wise, early highlights for Ducati included Alastair Michael Rogers, Chas Mortimer’s Production 250 class successes in 1969 and 1970 plus Roger Nicholls finishing runner-up within the Formula 1 race of 1977.
One year after Nicholls heroics, Ducati would gain for the first time the F1 TT crown, courtesy of one of the greatest ever racers, Mike ‘The Bike’ Hailwood.
Despite been away from TT competition for 11 years, Hailwood piloting the Sports Motorcycles Ducati proved why he is held in such high esteem by the fellow giants of his era.
Clinching race honours by almost two minutes over nearest pursuer John Williams, his victory rightly stands amongst the most tumultuous triumphs in TT history.
Post Hailwood’s iconic TT success, added premier TT moments for Ducati have included Tony Rutter’s three consecutive Formula 2 race victories from 1981-1983, Roger Holden’s 1995 Singles TT triumph and John McGuinness brace of podium finishes at TT 2003.
2010’s wise the 2007 Moto GP Champion’s, 11 times British Superbike Champion’s presence on Manx shores, has been modest at best.
Main highlights Mountain Course action wise throughout the past years include Michael Rutter’s creditable 8th, 10th place finishes within the Superstock, Senior races of TT 2011 and James Hillier’s strong run to third in the Superbike race from last year’s Classic TT.
Photo by Nick Wheeler
Moving onto current times, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, 19 times TT winner Michael Dunlop and the Paul Bird Motorsport ran Visiontrack Ducati squad looked set to this year provide Ducati with their first major TT winning challenge in decades.
Looking towards TT 2021, it remains to be seen as to whether the Dunlop/PBM partnership will remain in place. If it does, allied to everything gelling together nicely, Mountain Course magic could be returning for Ducati.
Words by Stevie Rial