Mototrans was the Spanish Ducati factory, by the 1970s fiercely independent. They had continued to develop the singles long after Ducati had given up on them, even producing a new frame and marketing the 350 as the Vento. Leading light among the Mototrans people was one-time racer Ricardo Fargas, who guided a Mototrans team to victory in the 1980 24 hour race at Montjuic Park with a Ducati 900SS road bike, against a slew of factory Japanese four-cylinder racers. The riders were José María Mallol and Alejandro Tejedo, this photo being the 8pm pit stop and changeover. Endurance racing had been dominated by Honda in the late seventies, so victory was especially sweet if unexpected. But it was not a fluke – Fargas knew that even with a top flight works Ducati NCR they wouldn’t be as fast as the Japanese bikes. So instead he had a 900SS meticulous prepared and drew up an action plan that would countenance no mistakes. Over 24 hours of attrition the Mototrans team simply ground down an opposition pushed into riding as fast as they could. Perhaps this result is the ultimate proof that to finish first, first you have to finish.
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