After finishing runner-up by just one point to Kawasaki in 2020, Ducati were unable to go one better as they instead retained second place in the 2021 WorldSBK manufacturers’ standings.
The 2021 season wasn’t quite the year Ducati had hoped for as Scott Redding failed to deliver a riders’ world title, while Michael Rinaldi lost out on fourth in the championship during the final race of the season.
Redding, who lost a position in the final standings compared to the 2020 season, did manage to claim more wins (7), podiums (23) and pole positions (1) than his rookie season, albeit there were 13 more races held.
While on the other side of the garage Rinaldi won three races in his first season with the Aruba.it Ducati team.
However, the Italian suffered a disappointing middle and end to the season as he accumulated just four rostrums in 25 races.
Rinaldi finished nine points behind WorldSBK rookie Andrea Locatelli, however, the former GoEleven Ducati rider had a margin of over 15 points to his fellow Italian with just three rounds to go, therefore had he held onto that gap he would have helped secure top spot for Ducati.
Ducati will be without Redding in 2022 after the former MotoGP and BSB rider signed for BMW. But on the other hand the team re-signed Alvaro Bautista who won 16 races in just his one season aboard a Panigale V4 R.
On the Satellite front there were good and bad moments with rookie Axel Bassani very much providing the good.
The youngest rider in the championship finished ninth ahead of experienced riders such as Bautista, Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes, while he also claimed a best result of second in Catalunya after nearly winning the race.
It was a disappointing final season in WorldSBK for the recently retired Chaz Davies as he managed just one podium, a total that was bettered in just five races by his stand-in Loris Baz.
The Frenchman claimed top tens in all five races he competed in, while Davies had his worst season since joining the Superbike class in 2012. It must be added that Davies picked up an injury in Catalunya which side-lined him for six races, six races that through no fault of Davies’ likely cost Ducati the manufacturer’ title.
The biggest surprise for Ducati was the struggles of former MotoGP rider Tito Rabat who failed to gel with Superbike machinery from the very first round. The lack of results led to Rabat and the Barni Racing Team parting ways during the season as he instead finished the year with Puccetti Kawasaki.
All thing considered Ducati had a good season, but given they had the second most riders on the grid (5) – Kawasaki had (6) – and a bike that was arguably the best, second place could and perhaps should have been first. The final margin between Yamaha and Ducati was just 13 points.