Montjuic Ducati memories and more
We greatly enjoyed ‘Shining Stars,’ Hamish Cooper’s splendid article about the Ducati endurance bikes, which raced at Montjuic (CB April). However, José Gazulla and Josep Maria Galindo, authors of Ducati Mototrans: La Historia Deportiva (a book on the racing activities of the Mototrans factory in Barcelona) and José María Mallol, winner of the 1980 Montjuic 24 Hours, would like to draw your attention to some points expressed in that article. The 1980 winning bike was not developed by NCR – it was built at Mototrans. But the factory was cashstripped at the time, so Ricardo Fargas, its sports manager, got hold of a standard engine from a crashed bike, fitted it with high-compression pistons and 40mm Dell’orto carburettors, and prepared it for long-distance races as the Ducati factory would. The engine lacked any special NCR parts, as can be seen in Cooper’s article. Moreover, the number 26 Ducati did not display the NCR moniker on the fuel tank during the race, as can be seen in the picture above, the usual place of the NCR sticker being covered by Michelin publicity. Ducati won the 24 Hours of Montjuic five times using single cylinder bikes (1957, 1958, ’60, ’62 and ’64); three, with bevelgear twins (1973, ’75 and ’80), and four (not five, as stated in the article) with Pantah-derived engines (1983-1986). Ducati was the most successful marque in the Montjuic 24-hr race with 11 victories.
Just like the 1980 bike, the ’64 winner was built in Barcelona, as was the ’69 prototype racer. Mototrans not only built Ducati motorcycles under licence, but also developed and built racing and road bikes independently from the Italian factory.
I write in tribute to the Mototrans workers and racers, whose exploits have received such little attention and recognition so far. JOSÉ GAZULLA, ZARAGOZA, SPAIN
1980 Montjuic 24-hr winning Ducati: built in Barcelona