Ousted Ducati MotoGP boss Filippo Preziosi says he is optimistic that the Bologna factory is destined for a successful future.
The Italian will no longer serve as Ducati Corse’s General and Technical Manager from January, 2013 after Ducati owners Audi implemented a major management restructure today (Tuesday).
Preziosi will be replaced by former BMW World Superbike boss Bernhard Gobmeier, who will take on the role of Ducati Corse General Manager.
Ducati’s disastrous two-year stint with nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi has made Preziosi the highest profile casualty of the reshuffle, which also sees Alessandro Cicognani replaced as MotoGP Project Director by Paolo Ciabatti.
Preziosi will move to the new role of Director of Research & Development for Ducati Motor Holding.
One of his last acts in charge was to oversee Nicky Hayden assess a new chassis, and Andrea Dovizioso make his factory Ducati debut during last week’s weather-hit MotoGP test in Valencia.
And in what is likely to be his final media debrief with the international press in Valencia last week, he spoke of his optimism that Ducati could bounce back and be a major force in MotoGP again.
Preziosi said the impact of Audi’s involvement in Ducati and the MotoGP project would be invaluable and he told MCN: “I am very optimistic for the future because Ducati is changing a lot. Ducati is now part of a huge group (Audi) not only with a lot of economic resources but also with an incredibly high level of technology. We are waiting for some tooling to arrive, which we have dreamed of for years. Now we have the opportunity to have these things.”
Rumours that Preziosi was being moved to another role within Ducati emerged during the last round of the season in Valencia. He didn't make any public comment on his future but hinted at the management shake-up when he added: “For sure in the future Ducati Corse will be structured in a more strong way with more people from the management side and technical side.
Top management, not only in Ducati, are really committed to come back and for Ducati to win again. We are approaching every single detail in every way. There are more economic resources, more opportunity to speak to colleagues in the group on electronics, engines and materials in order to have synergies.
There will be more people involved in the management of Ducati Corse and if we pay attention to all the small details there is no reason not to be in the condition to win."
When asked by MCN how the GP13 will evolve and what Ducati is working on to compete against Yamaha and Honda again, Preziosi added: “We are doing two projects. One is to choose the best parts from the material we have in the garage and to build the fastest bike from that.
We have three different specification frames, and for each frame we have two different options of stiffness. We have two different swingarms in terms of length and stiffness, so we can select different combinations to have the fastest bike. More important is we need to understand the direction to develop the next steps.
So if the result of Nicky's test here (Valencia) with the new frame is confirmed in Jerez then we will know we will have to push the stiffness in one direction. So then we will do another step and check it in Sepang in February to see if there is another step in performance. There are two clear kinds of activity."