News 3 Oct 2023

'Very emotional to win the first title for Ducati in WorldSSP' - Bulega

Italian wraps up 2023 title in race one at the Portimao circuit.

Image: Supplied.

The success of Nicolo Bulega in the 2023 season was underlined at Portimao where he was crowned World Supersport (WorldSSP) champion, with the Italian describing the feeling as ‘very emotional’ to win the first world title for Ducati in the category.

Bulega has been a dominant force throughout the current campaign, securing multiple 14 race wins on his way to the title. At Portimao, he clinched the world championship in style as he fended off Stefano Manzi to take the checkers first in the opening bout.

Rule changes to the WorldSSP Championship last year enabled manufacturers such as Ducati and Triumph to return to the category as a much wider range of models were homologated. Bulega’s success in 2023 meant he was the first rider to win a World Supersport title for Ducati, with the brand also wrapping up the manufacturers’ championship in the class.

“I feel incredible,” Bulega explained. “After a lot of hard work with my team and alone a home, in the end I am and we are world champions. I came here to this paddock and this team with a bad mental situation. I didn’t enjoy riding the bike and I wasn’t at the top of my training. I tried to change what I thought wasn’t the best to try to go faster.

“In the end, the hard work pays off. It’s incredible. To feel a manufacturer is behind you gives you some pressure, but maybe I needed that kind of pressure. Every time I see my bike, I like it. It’s very emotional to win the first title for Ducati in World Supersport.”

Bulega – who is bound for WorldSBK with Racing Ducati next year – concluded the weekend in Portimao with a hard-fought second position behind Manzi in race two. The final round of the 2023 season takes place at Jerez, Spain, between 27-29 October.