Nicky Hayden says he is sorry that technical guru Filippo Preziosi does not form part of Ducati’s future MotoGP plans.
But the American also admitted that Ducati’s struggling Desmosedici project was not progressing at a fast enough rate after Preziosi became a high profile casualty of a pre-Christmas management shake-up instigated by new owners Audi.
Preziosi had been the technical brains behind Ducati’s MotoGP project since the Bologna factory entered MotoGP in 2003.
But after Casey Stoner dominated the inaugural 800cc title battle in 2007, Ducati’s fortunes plummeted, culminating in a disastrous two-year spell with Italian icon Valentino Rossi.
Hayden had formed a close relationship with Preziosi after he joined Ducati in 2009 and he told MCN: “I had a great relationship but we didn't get the results recently. But if you waiting for me to point the finger at him or anybody it is not going to happen.
I don't want people on the outside to think he (Filippo) was the problem but unfortunately somebody has got to take the fall. He was a big part of the team.”
Preziosi has been replaced by former BMW World Superbike boss Bernhard Gobmeier and Hayden said he was looking forward to seeing what impact he will have in the coming months.
The 2006 world champion added: “I’m open to see what Mr Gobmeier’s new ideas are. Filippo was great with this bike but we weren't going anywhere. As Mr Gobmeier said it is not as if Filippo has completely gone. He is still at Ducati and he still be there for advice."
Preziosi was moved to work on production machine projects for Ducati.
Hayden and Ducati are back in action next week when winter testing resumes at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia on February 5.