The fallout from Valentino Rossi’s disastrous two-year spell with Ducati is starting to be felt, with Filippo Preziosi and Alessandro Cicognani replaced in a major management shake-up.
The highest profile casualty is Preziosi, who has been an instrumental figure at Ducati Corse since the Bologna factory entered MotoGP back in 2003.
He was widely acclaimed in 2007 when Casey Stoner won the inaugural 800cc title. But Ducati has failed to win the title since, and Preziosi has come under mounting pressure while Rossi struggled to make the Desmosedici competitive.
The Italian scored just three podium finishes in 35 races and he was critical of the time it took for Ducati to roll out new parts to help improve the Desmosedici.
Ducati owners Audi has now started to exert its influence by instigating several upper management changes.
Preziosi has been replaced by Bernhard Gobmeier, who takes on the new General Manager of Ducati Corse.
His most recent role was Director of the BMW factory World Superbike squad and he will report directly to Ducati CEO Gabriele del Torchio.
Preziosi will now assume the position of Director of Research & Development for Ducati Motor Holding and report directly to Claudio Domenicali, General Manager of Ducati Motor Holding.
A Ducati statement said: “The prestigious and strategic company role will enable 44-year-old Preziosi to apply the valuable experience of his 18 years in Ducati, 12 of which in Ducati Corse, to the development of new product.”
Paolo Ciabatti has been appointed the new Ducati MotoGP Project Director, which was a role filled by Cicognani, who has been rumoured to be moving to the satellite Pramac Ducati squad in a management role of the team that will run Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone in 2013.
Ciabatti brings a wealth of experience to Ducati having previously taken a key role in its World Superbike project.
He has recently worked in the World Superbike series as General Director.