The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445
Lot 374
The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445
£ 35,000 - 45,000
US$ 45,000 - 57,000

Lot Details
The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445 The property of Alan Cathcart, 1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle Frame no. ZDM851S850009 Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445
The property of Alan Cathcart
1987 Ducati 851 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987' Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. ZDM851S850009
Engine no. ZDM851W4B000445
• The first customer-delivered Desmoquattro
• Owned from new by Alan Cathcart
• Very little used (circa 500miles/800 kilometres)
• Laid up for circa 20 years
• Restored in 2014 to 100% original condition; used only three times since on a racetrack

One of the most influential motorcycles of recent times, the Ducati '851' Superbike restored the fortunes of the Italian company and paved the way for a highly successful family of superbikes, the final (pre-Panigale) example being the '1098' of 2007. In developing the original 851 Desmoquattro, engineer Massimo Bordi created one of the finest motorcycle power plants ever.

By the mid-1980s, Ducati's existing air-cooled Desmodue twins were approaching the end of their development, so Bordi started with a clean sheet in creating their water-cooled, 8-valve, fuel-injected successor. Ducati's trademark desmodromic valve actuation system, which closes the valves mechanically rather than relying on springs, was retained, as was the 90-degree angle between the cylinders. Wrapped around this outstanding Desmoquattro engine was a frame, consisting of an intricate trellis of straight tubes, whose design would become a Ducati trademark. Only one paint scheme was available at first: silver-grey frame with bodywork in the Italian national colours of red/white/green, hence these models' 'Tricolore' sobriquet.

Riding the factory prototype, Marco Lucchinelli had won the Battle of The Twins (BoTT) race at Daytona in March 1987, and Ducati then spent the rest of the season on development prior to the production version's launch at the Milan Show in November. Two models were available initially: the 851 Strada and 851 Superbike Kit, the latter being the first of many limited edition 'homologation specials' produced to satisfy World Superbike Championship requirements. The major differences were the Kit's closer-ratio gearbox and 17" Marvic magnesium wheels (16" Marvic/Akront composite on the Strada). In total, 54 were allocated to the United States market with a further 152 for the rest of the world. When the 851 was revised for 1989, a white frame/red bodywork colour scheme was adopted, thus rendering the early Tricolore models collectible overnight.

The first four frame numbers were assigned to the factory pre-production prototypes, following which seven hand-built customer racers were completed in November 1987. Only these first seven are known as the 'Superbike Edizione 11/1987', all others being 1988 models. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the World Superbike Championship's inaugural season, for which the Ducati 851 was produced; indeed, ridden by Marco Lucchinelli, the 851 won the very first WSBK race in April 1988 at Donington Park.

This machine - frame number '850009' - was allocated to world-renowned award-winning journalist and motorcycle racer, Alan Cathcart, and is the first customer Desmoquattro to leave the Bologna factory. Alan had his friendship with Massimo Bordi to thank for the privilege of being first in line, plus the fact that he intended to race the Ducati that European winter in the BEARS (British, European, America, Race Series) in New Zealand, commencing mid-December. Sadly, it was not to be; the Desmoquattro remained impounded at Milan airport, embroiled in an Italian customs industrial dispute, and Alan was forced to contest the BEARS races on Bob Brown's ex-Kevin Magee air-cooled Ducati F1 twin, which he bought and went on to race successfully at Daytona in March 1988.

Back in Europe, Alan at last took delivery of '850009', though a mystery ignition ailment saw it sent back at the factory almost immediately. It wasn't all bad news, for the Bob Brown-prepared F1 proved to have the beating of all the new-model 851 Superbike Kits that Alan crossed swords with that season, much to Massimo Bordi's chagrin. Bordi had promised Alan a factory-specification Desmoquattro engine, but this never arrived because the factory was experiencing problems with the crankcases cracking on the Desmoquattro engine. Parts were in short supply: one reason why Ducati factory rider Marco Lucchinelli did not contest the full inaugural World Superbike Championship season on his factory 851. Cracking crankcases was a common problem because the Desmoquattro produced too much power for the 851's Pantah-based bottom end.

Indeed, after it finally arrived after the resolution of the customs strike, the crankcases cracked on only the Ducati's second outing. Ducati sent a new pair free of charge, but Alan preferred to wait before rebuilding the engine with the later (1989-onwards) and much stronger production crankcases, after which it proved totally reliable. Ducati's replacement crankcases (still in their factory wrapping) are included in the sale.

From 1991 onwards, racing commitments with Bimota meant that Alan had little time for the Desmoquattro, which got consigned to the back of the garage, remaining untouched for more than 20 years. In 2014, the Ducati was restored by Alan's former race engineer, Alistair Wager, and returned to the track at that year's Bikers Classic event at Spa Francorchamps. Since then, Alan has twice ridden his Desmoquattro at Donington Park (2015 and 2016) for a seven-page article published in Classic Bike Guide (October 2017 edition, copy available).

Restored to 'as new' condition and last used in August 2016, '850009' - the first customer-delivered Desmoquattro - represents a wonderful opportunity for the Ducati collector to own an important piece of the Bologna factory's history.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.
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