Nicolò Bulega triumphs in Race-1 at Portimão and is crowned 2023 WorldSSP Champion. Ducati wins the Manufacturers’ World Title

A triumphal Saturday for Nicolò Bulega ( Racing WSSP Team) and Ducati. The Italian rider wins a wonderful Race-1 at Portimão astride his Panigale V2 and becomes Supersport World Champion, giving the Bologna-based motorcycle Company the World Manufacturers’ Title in the WorldSSP category.

2023 was a dominant season for the Italian rider, who next season will race the Panigale V4 R of the Racing – Ducati Team as an official rider and teammate of Alvaro Bautista in the Superbike World Championship. Leading the standings from the very first Round of the season, Bulega was able to conduct the championship flawlessly and won it with three races to spare.

Bulega’s happiness is added to that of the Racing Team WSSP and the whole of Ducati, which today celebrates winning the Manufacturers’ World Title in the Supersport World Championship. For the Bologna-based motorcycle Company, this is a very important result which testifies to the excellent work carried out together with its satellite teams to make the Panigale V2 a winner in this championship.

Ducati Panigale V2’s adventure in WorldSSP began last season with the bike’s debut in the “New Generation” introduced in the Supersport Championship regulations. After a debut season that concluded with 17 podiums in total (Bulega 9, Caricasulo 5 and De Rosa 3), 2023 started immediately in the best possible way with Nicolò Bulega who achieved his first victory at Phillip Island (Australia) and then dominated the weekend with a double. In the current season the Racing Team WSSP rider has achieved 14 wins with 18 total podiums, to which are added one victory by Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) in Indonesia – also six podiums for him in this season – and the contribution of Federico Fuligni (Orelac Racing) with his seventh place in Race-2 at Most. Also worth mentioning are the 4 podiums obtained this year by Yari Montella (Barni Racing).

On a historical level, this is the second World Title for Ducati in the Supersport category, after the one won by Paolo Casoli in the 1997 edition of the Supersport World Series with the Ducati 748 in Giallo Ducati.

Stefano Cecconi ( Racing – Ducati Team Principal)
“This is a result that fills us with pride. We strongly believed in Nicolò, even though in recent seasons he had not encountered the best conditions to express his potential which we were certain was very high. Nicolò immediately immersed himself in the reality of Racing, building a strong relationship and mutual trust with the team and all the staff. He worked hard last season to understand a bike, a category and a format that was completely new to him, even racing on circuits where he had never ridden before. The great work carried out this winter together with his team and the concrete and constant support of Ducati, has borne fruit, making Nicolò and the Ducati Panigale V2 the outright protagonists of the 2023 season of the Supersport World Championship and contributing to obtaining an achievement as coveted for Borgo Panigale as the Manufacturers’ Title. The victories and results achieved were also the springboard for his move to the official Racing – Ducati team in the 2024 season on the Panigale V4 R, alongside Bautista from whom he will be able to learn a lot. But we will focus on the future in a few weeks, now we want to enjoy this title that we achieved in the second season of our adventure in Supersport and which gives us so much confidence and enthusiasm to continue this experience.”

Marco Zambenedetti (Technical Coordinator Ducati Corse WorldSBK)
“Today is a day of great joy for everyone in Borgo Panigale. The victory of this important World Title started from the determination with which in 2022 we took up the challenge of the new regulation formula desired by Dorna, FIM and MSMA, bringing a Ducati motorcycle, specifically the Panigale V2, back to the Supersport Championship grid after an absence of 14 seasons. In the first year of this experience, together with the teams and riders, we accumulated the right benchmarks in terms of working method, and already in this second season we managed to win the most important trophy for a manufacturer. This is an achievement that confirms the quality of the project and for this reason I want to thank all the teams and riders who contributed by scoring points to obtain it: Racing with Nicolò Bulega, Althea Racing with Federico Caricasulo and Orelac Racing with Federico Fuligni”.

Nicolò Bulega ( Racing WSSP #11)
“I can’t find the right words to describe this feeling.: for me it is a fantastic day. I am thinking about the many difficulties I have encountered on a sporting level in recent times and feeling like a sort of leader of the Ducati Supersport project has definitely made me pull out something special. I knew that this could be my last chance to continue as a professional rider and I can only thank Racing for giving me this chance. Without them all this would not have been possible. I also want to thank all those who have been close to me during this season: my manager, my trainer and my girlfriend Camilla. Let me also make a dedication to my team because together we have done a resounding job, especially this winter. After a not easy apprenticeship we have grown a lot this season. In the next future I can’t wait to get on the Panigale V4 R and enter the garage of the Racing – Ducati Team, but now let me celebrate for a few hours. We will not exaggerate anyway, because tomorrow we’re back on track and I’d like to end the weekend and the season in the best possible way.”