Ducati Corse Superbike boss Ernesto Marinelli will leave Ducati at the end of 2017, the Bologna factory has announced.
Marinelli joined Ducati in 1995, before working as a track engineer for names such as Carl Fogarty and Neil Hogdson before moving to head-up Ducati’s AMA Superbike programme between 1998-2000 with Anthony Gobert, Ben Bostrom, Troy Bayliss and John Kocinski.
On his return to Europe in 2001, he worked as an engineer with Bostrom in World Superbikes before being promoted to the role of Superbike Technical Director in 2003 and then Project Manager in 2010.
In a career spanning more than 20 years, Marinelli has contributed to five world titles for Neil Hodgson, James Toseland, Troy Bayliss (x2) and Carlos Checa as well as six manufacturers titles in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011. He was also the race engineer for Troy Bayliss in his famous 2006 Valencia wildcard victory.
“After 22 years it’s not easy to say goodbye and turn over a new leaf and if you leave a company like Ducati, the decision becomes even more difficult," said Marinelli.
"Nevertheless, for each and every one of us, the time comes to raise the bar and face up to further challenges. I’m leaving Ducati in the knowledge that I have lived numerous unforgettable and successful moments, sharing passion, dreams and satisfaction, as well as defeats, disappointments and difficulties.
"All of these have marked and shaped my professional career and they have helped me to understand that “never give up” is not just a saying but to all intents and purposes a style of life. For my future, I’ve decided to accept a new professional challenge and put myself to the test again, albeit with the awareness that everything I leave behind will always have an important place in my memories and my heart.
A big thanks to Ducati. Thank you to all the many fantastic people who have shared with me these years of hard work, travel and circuits all over the world. There are still four races to go before the end of my final season in SBK, and it will be an even more special and motivating reason for me to continue to fight and win together, before saying farewell to all my colleagues and the Ducatisti, with whom I’ll continue to share friendship and passion, and with whom I’ll still be supporting our red bikes from Borgo Panigale!”
Speaking of Marinelli's departure, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said: “I began to work with Ernesto back in 1995, the year he joined Ducati, and since then I’ve learnt to appreciate his qualities of expertise, commitment, perseverance and passion for racing. Together we have shared success and disappointment, sacrifice and satisfaction, but I have never seen him lose the enthusiasm that has always distinguished him in his work.
"Under his guidance, Ducati has obtained numerous successes in the Superbike championship and of course I’m very sorry that he has decided to leave our company at the end of this year. I’d like to wish him all the best for his new professional challenge and I am sure that in the future he will continue to follow and support Ducati with the affection he has always has.”
Have a browse for your next bike on MCN Bikes For Sale website or use the MCN's Bikes For Sale App.