Filippo Preziosi Resigns from Ducati

02/28/2013 @ 11:30 am, by Jensen Beeler29 COMMENTS


Formerly General Manager of Ducati Corse, and left largely to blame for the Italian company’s recent short-comings in the MotoGP Championship, Filippo Preziosi has resigned from Ducati Motor Holding, just ahead of his transition into the role of  Ducati’s Director of Research & Development.

Officially citing reasons of poor health for his departure, many following Preziosi’s situation will however see his resignation as the logical conclusion to a two-year debacle that saw Valentino Rossi noticeably unable to compete with the other factory riders, and go winless for the two years he was with the Italian manufacturer.

Working at Ducati for 19 years, 12 of which were with Ducati Corse, Preziosi’s legacy at the iconic brand has largely been marred by Ducati’s Rossi experiment. However, as that chapter fades from recent memory, we think the 45-year-old’s years of racing success and technological achievement will shine through on motorcycling’s history books.

Replaced at Ducati Corse by BMW’s Bernhard Gobmeier, Preziosi’s position as Ducati’s Director of R&D remains vacant. After an appropriate amount of time, we suspect Ducati will announce a new team member for that position.

Source: Ducati; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

  • Was it health related, or was it “health” related?

  • phs

    Another blow to Ducati. Although Corse struggled the last couple of years, I am sure the new regime was going to rely on Filippo in some fashion to provide any input from his experiences with the Ducati. Will be very interesting to see if/where Filippo continues his career.

  • proudAmerican

    I wonder if he’ll ever give an interview, or talk candidly about what really happened.

    Maybe Ducati wouldn’t cough-up enough money to truly fix the Desmosedici, and he did everything in his power to make do with the funds that his MotoGP project was given?

    I’m speculating of course, but it sounds like maybe he was the Fall Guy for the failure of Team Ducati/Rossi. Someone very public had to be held accountable for Rossi’s failure, and it sounds like Filippo was that target.

  • Mike Lewis

    Great move for Ducati. Filippo was obviously a bright and talented guy. But the bikes — with one otherworldly exception — were not competitive. I think Burgess said it best when he said that Ducati spent way more time analyzing success than failure. This decision isn’t solely a Rossi react; Look at the line of riders who mostly failed on the bikes. Filippo believed engineers should trump riders. This notion might seem plausible when you have Stoner on the bike. The man can mask bike problems. (And remember, even he complained about the Duc a bunch.) Without Stoner, the bike’s lack of positive development and general competitiveness became obvious. The Italians weren’t going to fire the man. The new owners knew that the path forward was blocked until a different voice (and ears) came in. It was the right move — unless your goals are CTR-grade and celebrating 8th place rocks your boat.

  • ZootCadillac

    He was moved sideways. Which was a nod to the huge respect that Ducati have for him They did not understand that it would not be enough for Fellipo. But then the alternative would have been outright dismissal at that time.

    Fellipo has given it a go. He’s not happy with the new position which despite the fancy title has not kept him close to the race development and he’s decided to go. It’s not sensible for Ducati to take a hit when their bikes are being battered on the track and so a financial incentive has been offered so that a media and investor friendly headline comes out of it.

    That’s my ‘opinion’ but, meh, what would I know?

  • I admire Presiossi but the reality is that his formula never worked (even in the Stoner era), Stoner himself mentioned a couple of times how his input was ignored and he had to make the best of it.

    I really doubt they didn’t want to cough up the $$$, as they were investing livers and kidneys in getting a competition bike. I can see Bernhard Gobmeier in team meetings talking about how things needed to change and everybody at Ducati was like “Oh wait we don’t do things that way” the german said “wtf, I run the show here now, all of you mf get the hell out here”

    This is good for Ducati.

  • Filippo must feel aggrieved. To have Stoner step off the podium at Valencia 2010, only for Rossi to climb on the Ducati and be so, so slow …. and for 2 years remain in the same back marker position.

    It was clear that Rossi wasn’t giving it all, certainly not the same “giving it all” that Stoner used to ride the Ducati.

  • Stevenk27

    @bretts69, I couldn’t have said it any better myself. He had 2 years of next to no commitment from riders. Nicky is the only one thats really been riding the bike with any purpose and even then I think he is well past his prime. Stoner showed even to the end of his Ducati carreer that the bike was flawed but with commitment it was well capable of winning races. In the last 2 years the development on that Ducati has been erratic at best, I think they are on version or something like that now.
    They should bin the Ducati MotoGP disaster and give the grid spots to Suzuki seeing as old Caramello bear won’t allow more spots on the grid.

  • BBQdog

    I doubt if Filippo Preziosi ever had ‘cart blanche’ or even enough room to choose the right solutions.
    At that time Ducati was developing the Panigale. Marketing wise they could never have abandoned the frameless MotoGP concept because that would mean they would say themselves that the future Panigale would be crap.

  • trojanhorse

    @Stevenk27, “next to no commitment from riders,” what an absurd and ridiculous statement! As if you knew anything about the commitment of any of the GP riders, they practically inhabit a different universe than you do and it is clear that you have zero idea of what is required to be one.

    Tell me, what would Rossi’s motivation have been to be less-than-commited? Did he not want to win on an Italian bike? Maybe he didn’t feel like he had anything to prove to Casey or Jorge? Or possibly, he just felt that the history of his career was too positive, and needed a big black mark to call his talent into question?

  • @trojanhorse, well said

  • pooch

    Ya, you can’t question the commitment of Rossi, a man who came back from a compound fracture (that means snapped in two, if you dont know) in 6 weeks and finished *just* off the podium in his comeback race. That’s commitment.

    But think of commitment this way… Rossi had no ‘feel’ with the Ducati, and therefore didn’t want to take risks or hurt his leg/shoulder more by continually falling off the Ducati. Compared to Stoner, you can say that Rossi lacked commitment on the Ducati, to be willing to ride it hard and loose and how it needed to be rode to get to the front – for sure. I think that’s fair enough comment. The Ducati never lacked speed or power, it had loads, but it lacked cornering ability. If you look at Stoner’s superhuman, balls-out cornering ability – there lies the reason.

  • Minibull

    @trojanhorse: Exactly. Whats more, thats not the point of the work the riders do. The riders shouldn’t have to push a bike so bloody hard all the time just to score mediocre results, while running the risk of crashing, like Stoner was doing.
    Imagine, trying to chase the elusive podium place, to then have a crash that wrecks the rest of the season for you. I’m sure that would really help any kind of development…sitting in the garage, watching from the pitlane…when you could be out trying your best in conjunction with the team to give good feedback and figure out the issues with the bike.

    Best of luck to Preziosi, we don’t know what it is that is causing the health problems (as it should be…), but it would be great to see him back in the motorcycle world in future.

  • trojanhorse

    @pooch, I understand what you are saying. But the heart of the matter to me is that Rossi (as all top GP riders) is really, really excellent at quickly assessing and managing risks. How hard to push the motorcycle (and conversely how close to come to crashing) vs. the potential payoff of pushing hard at that moment. Like Minibull states, Rossi won’t risk a potentially season/career/life ending injury if he knows the best he can achieve is mediocre results from it. That’s not a lack of commitment but rather is skill and a ton of experience, and in fact any team manager worth his salt would want their top rider to have the same discernment.

    Maybe the initial comment touched a nerve with me. I am in “this world,” I personally received the e-mail from Preziosi announcing his retirement. In my mind armchair quarterbacks who call into question the commitment of riders risking their lives every time they line up on the starting grid, or who pass judgment on an entire GP program by saying they should just throw it away, need to seriously re-think their position.

    I’ll get off my soapbox now.

  • BBQdog

    The difference between Rossi and Stoner on the Ducati is Stoner had just started his MotoGp carreer, was younger. Rossi had much more experience on MotoGP bikes, was already multiple world champion, just had a big injury. Rossi had more experience to compare bikes and know when and when it is not worth to take a risk.

  • proudAmerican

    BBQdog–You forgot to add the obvious–Stoner is a better rider than Rossi. Period.

  • L2C

    When Stoner wins eight world titles against his peers – at any given point in his lifetime – he can reasonably be considered a better rider than Rossi. Until then, he’s just one of the latest hard-ons for irrational fans.

    By any given measure, Rossi represents the best the modern era has ever known. He has spanked both Stoner and Lorenzo for world championships and answered Stoner’s 2007 championship directly with a championship of his own in 2008. When Stoner won for Honda in 2011 it was an answer to Lorenzo, not Rossi – and Lorenzo answered Stoner last year.

    Any bonehead can claim that because Stoner was the most animalistic on the Ducati, he is therefore better than the greatest champion in the modern era needs his/her head examined. Two championships against the new breed of go-fast riders versus seven championships against every type of world-class MotoGP rider of the past 20-30 years. Please, go see a doctor.

    Thing is, I am also a Stoner fan, but he is no god when I consider the totality of what Valentino Rossi has demonstrated throughout his long career, there is just not enough motor oil in the world available to cook the books enough in order to get the impression that Stoner is a better rider, great as he was. Long after Rossi has retired, he will still be the rider to beat. Belief is not necessary – this point is a knowable fact.

    Please, stop hijacking Ducati threads all over the web just to get your Stoner boners on. It’s irrational, irritating and disgusting. Really, it is.

  • Ducman

    All well said , talent ,time and finance have to be right .

  • BBQdog

    @proudAmerican: yeah, that’s why Rossi is 9 times worldchampion and Stoner ……

  • proudAmerican

    LC2–I write one short sentence and you respond with five paragraphs. Who’s the hijacker??…

  • MikeD

    Please, allow old MikeD to throw his share of fresh manure (opinion) towards the supersonic fan blades on this one.

    I think ROSSI is a PANZY compared to Stoner.
    And im happy the Duc gave him a much needed reality check and motorcycle performed prostate exam.

  • MikeD

    Oh yeah, and on the main topic…(is so easy to get lost in the bickering)…

    I think the Preziosi guy just walked out on Ducati followed by his ego…don’t blame him at all…not because he’s “health” dictated so.
    Some guys love the heat of the kitchen even if they can’t cook for shit…(~_O)…and when his Chef hat and position was taken from him he just left…pretty transparent.

  • pooch

    Hehe, well said MikeD.

    I love how Rossi fans spew forth the same lines about history and records, but the last two seasons must be a bitter pill for them to swallow. And it’s always amusing to note that Rossi fans are always, but always, more aggressive and emotional on forums than Stoner fans. Why ? Must be all that let-down of the last two seasons bubbling to the surface.

    Rossi is a great rider, a worthy champion. But I just don’t think he is in the same class as Stoner – sorry. Nothing will change my view of that ever. I’ve sat trackside and watched Rossi desperately trying to match Stoner’s pace around Phillip Island, with Rossi on his beloved M1. It was like watching a cat playing with a mouse.

    Rossi will only get a win this season if it’s wet, or someone falls. I just can’t see him matching the pace of Lorenzo or Pedrosa, and hell I think Rookie Marquez will dust him up too. Possibly Cal will beat him up as well. He has his work cutout for him this season.

    And yes I freely admit call me an armchair critic, a keyboard warrior, whatever! This is a website, of course there’s a peanut gallery. That’s why there’s comment sections after all :)

  • L2C

    Stoner junkies want to rope me in. So be it.

    @ pooch

    The last six seasons record that Lorenzo, Rossi and Stoner have each won two championships. Tell me, how can it be determined which of the three riders was the most dominant during that period? The sole successful title defense. Rossi was the most dominant because he was the only rider to successfully defend his world title during that time. 2008 and 2009 belonged to Rossi. No rider among the three can claim to have done the same at any other point during those six years.

    Stoner did not repeat the title he won in 2007 on the Ducati, why? He was Ducati’s greatest rider, yes? So why didn’t the boy wonder repeat on the machine that only he could master? Did he actually master the Ducati, as you and others have said and implied? His failure to repeat on it begs the question because for sure it was either the rider or the machine – or both that came up short. If you say it was the bike, you know what you are going to have to concede. If you say it was the rider, you know what you are going to have to concede. If you say it was both, why are you even bothering to say anything?

    Stoner also didn’t successfully defend his 2011 title that he won with Honda. Last year, he made that ridiculous mistake at Sachsenring – risking 20 points to gain 5. Win it or bin it, I guess, but dude certainly binned that shit for no good reason – played the damn lotto and lost. Sure, Stoner suffered a major injury at Indy last season, but he was also in a major uphill battle at the time of the accident. But this is racing, no excuses. Injured or not, his performance last season counts.

    Was Stoner a great rider? Yes, I recognize this but historical facts bear out that he was not the best rider when compared to Rossi. I suppose a fans fervor counts for something on this issue, but in the case of Stoner not for very much. “Ducati, Ducati!” Now it’s Phillip Island.

    Obviously Stoner’s Phillip Island performance, whichever one, buzzed you quite well down below to come away with the conclusion that he is a better rider than Rossi. To be straightforward, that is just the type of thing that Stoner fans usually say. They always gush about some vague experience they had watching Stoner at one time or another – they never offer up anything concrete. And it is telling that you chose to point out Stoner’s mastery of his home circuit as proof that he’s better than Rossi. A very weak argument indeed.

    But Stoner’s your boy, I can understand that.

  • OH god!…just when I thought this was over is just getting better 8-) I can’t wait what answer stoneer sissy fans are going to say now…oh’s over Vale = G.O.A.T

  • MikeD

    You are mistaken, Mr.Yellow Panty Corps Commanders …..that’s OUR boy…ROTFLMAO…i was missing all this bashing around on the web.

  • BBQdog

    Stoner is a very limited rider because in 125cc and 250cc he never performed well.

  • david

    wow, such vitriol! maybe we should define some terms; rossi is definitely the more successful rider, but does that make the better rider? for comparison, agostini has won more races and championships than vale, but do you think he was a better rider?I don’t, I feel his level of equipment was greater and his opposition not as great; not that ago wasn’t great mind you. stoner’s performance on the duke vis-a- vis rossi shows he was the more versatile rider, or at least was willing to swing his balls a lot higher!:-)

  • Norm G.

    i thought this article was about preziosi…? dude prolly got tired of all his 90 degree detractors.