MotoGP: Filippo Preziosi out of Ducati Corse?

11/11/2012 @ 1:29 am, by David Emmett12 COMMENTS

A revolution is about to take place at Ducati, several reliable sources are reporting. The Bologna factory’s new owners Audi are pushing through wholesale changes, both MotoSprint and are reporting, which include relieving Filippo Preziosi of his responsibility for Ducati’s MotoGP project and embarking on a parallel project to have Suter build a new chassis for the bike.

Who is to take the place of Preziosi at the head of Ducati Corse is unclear, but the name of Paolo Ciabatti, currently involved in World Superbikes and previously head of Ducati’s WSBK team, is being mentioned.

According to the reports in the Italian press, the removal of Preziosi is part of a wholesale reorganization of Ducati’s MotoGP project. The structure is to be altered to make it more ‘Japanese’ with the work divided up into separate divisions, and without tight central control of all aspects.

Suter has been commissioned by Audi to build a new chassis for the Ducati as part of a separate, parallel project to try to improve the bike.

Preziosi, as the head of the project, is paying the price for the failure of the Ducati Corse department to make the Desmosedici competitive. Audi had put a lot of effort into retaining Valentino Rossi for Ducati, and are said to have been very unhappy when it was announced he had decided to leave and return to Yamaha.

The loss of Rossi was probably the final straw for Audi, the German car manufacturer deciding at that point that drastic measures would be needed to rectify the situation.

The news had been intended to be broken after the Valencia tests have been completed, and Ducati spokespeople are still denying the truth of the reports. Filippo Preziosi is currently attending the race weekend, and will oversee the test efforts on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The reports from Italy suggest that Preziosi is to be forced out of Ducati altogether, but it is unclear whether a new role will be found for the man behind all of Ducati’s racing projects.

Source: Manuel Pecino (Twitter) MotoSprint, & Moto.itPhoto: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

  • T.J.

    Well, I hope this will result a more competitive bike for Dovi.

  • JoeD

    It is a shame these changes did not come earlier. Rossi winning on a Ducati would have helped every one.

  • Halfie 30

    Dovi is a smart guy is his is true! They should have done this after last season.

  • michael uhlarik

    Totally unsurprising considering VW Group’s past takeover behaviours. With Skoda, Seat, Bugatti and Lamborghini, the top slots in the acquired company were filled with proven VW Group people or top executives poached from rivals, usually German speaking. Expect *significant* cash injection and restructuring over the next 24 months.

    It is also reminiscent of Rommel and the Afrika korps being flown in to take over from the failing Italian 10th army. Nominally, Italians were still in charge…

  • TonyS

    Let’s not all forget who saved Chrysler’s ass….Fiat! CBRE, one of the biggest commercial real estate players in America (and the world) again Fiat is a major investor. Let’s not get to nationalistic about things…

  • Crashmanjay

    Before Fiat bought Chrysler it was owned by Daimler…… ze Germans. They were smart enough to not pull another Stalingrad with that one and sold the company at a loss. (since we are on a WW2 kick). They wanted to keep Jeep I had read but weren’t allowed to or something. That is after our government bailed them out in the 1980’s. The MP’s on my base in the Marines drove K cars! You could hear that 2.2L screaming louder than the siren. It would be nice if we in the States actually got some more Euro equipment i.e. diesel engines in these mergers, especially considering the platforms are ‘world platforms’ now. Perhaps we can send some pushrod engines in vtwin and v8 styles back as a trade. Fat Boy and a Vette anyone? Or Duck and A8? Sigh……..

  • “Preziosi, as the head of the project, is paying the price for the failure of the Ducati Corse department to make the Desmosedici competitive.”

    This is hardly surprising given that Italy recently jailed some scientists over their inability to accurately predict the country’s tragic earthquake.

  • TC

    Ducati should go back to what they are known for and brilliant at. Building steel trelis frames!! Their 2006 Desmosedici had it and they could have won the title, if Capirex wasnt taken out, mssing a few races.

  • Joey Wilson

    Nothing happens at VW (or more specifically, Auid) without the imprimatur of Mr. Piech. As the man who conjured the Porshe 917, he is not known for half-measures. Audi’s steamrolling dominance in LeMans, with that brilliant team headed by Dr. Ulrich, would set the tone for what they expect from Ducati. Their evolution of Lamborghini should demonstrate that they have gotten their sums right (Italian design/passion + German engineering) and operate in that culture very well.

    Don’t forget that Mr. Piech owns a 1098R, is a passionate rider, and surely knows of one V. Rossi. It is just not in their nature to campaign their racecraft in a bottomless circle of mid- and back-of-the-pack finishes for very long, if ever, nor to be turned down by great racers.

    Audi has stolen a march on a wandering Mercedes-Benz and a listless BMW, both of whom currently are only paying lip service to ‘The Best or Nothing’ and ‘the Ultimate Driving Machine’, by appropriating what the other two both embodied: Engineering first-class rides from the bottom to the top of their range. Over the next five years, in a changing motorcycle market, don’t be surprised if Ducati climbs to very high status as the Japanese fall all over themselves building 125’s for emerging central Asian markets (and Gold Wing Wide Glides ?!?!?!?)

    This is going to get interesting . . . . .

  • MikeD

    I kind of admire the guy. He stuck to what he believed.
    Then he realized something was wrong with his flight plan…so much that he actually thought about stepping down and giving his position to the M1’s Father (Furosawa ?) if the guy accepted working for Ducati.

    That right there says a lot to me. Anyone who turns wrenches or design knows what im talking about. EGO, PRIDE, w/e………lot’s of it and it’s hard when u have to eat with a big side of Humble Pie.

  • Mr.Truth

    VW where actually *trying* to buy Suzuki, but the Italians [FIAT Group] cockblocked it, this is a form of payback.

    If you think Japan Inc. is just going to lie down and let VW push them around, you have another thing coming

    I no longer support Ducati as its now GERMan owned, i will be behind APRILIA 100%, but will have to wait till 2014 for a proper factory effort

    Forza Valentino!

  • JoeD

    Next time, let’s try the European Monarch Princess Givaway Marriage Alliance theme.