Ducati team boss Vitto Guareschi is to leave Ducati at the end of this season and to manage the new Sky Moto3 team being run with the backing of Valentino Rossi's VR46 merchandising franchise. Guareschi is to assume the role of team manager in the project, which has been set up with the express aim of developing new young Italian talent. The team will field two riders, with Romano Fenati already having been signed for 2014, and a second rider yet to be announced. That rider will not be Rossi's half-brother Luca Marini, as Marini has already signed a contract to race in the Spanish championship in 2014.
Guareschi's departure is part of the ongoing large-scale organizational shake up at Ducati. Guareschi had been with the team from the start, first as test rider helping to develop the bike, and then later as a team manager, but his role had been diminished at the start of the year, when Paolo Ciabatti was brought in as MotoGP Project Manager. There have been persistent rumors that Ducati are trying to persuade Davide Tardozzi to take over the role of team manager for Ducati's MotoGP team, but so far, no official announcement has been made.
Ducati's new owners Audi appear to be hoping that Davide Tardozzi could form part of a triumvirate capable of reshaping their MotoGP project. Along with Ciabatti and new Ducati Corse manager Gigi Dall'Igna, Ducati appear to be gambling that the influx of three forceful Italians will help put the project back on the road, and make it competitive again.
Below is the official press release from Team Sky:
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI JOINS TEAM SKY
STARTING NEXT SEASON, THE ITALIAN WILL BE THE TEAM MANAGER FOR TEAM SKY, CREATED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH VR46, VALENTINO ROSSI’S TEAM
Milan, 26 October 2013: It was announced today that Vittoriano Guareschi will join the Sky project, whose aim is to help identify and develop young riders on the international stage. Beginning in 2014, Vitto will be with Team Sky, a new Moto3 effort that was created in partnership with 9 time World Champion Valentino Rossi’s VR46.
Vitto Guareschi will assume the role of Team Manager for the Sky squad, which next season will begin racing KTM motorcycles in the Moto3 World Championship, organized by Dorna.
After thirteen years with Ducati, the last four of which were in the role of Team Manager, the ex-World Supersport and World Superbike racer joins Sky, where he will coordinate the team. Guareschi will be tasked with guiding a group of top young Italian riders including Romano Fenati who, in his World Championship debut last year at the age of 16, was the top Italian in Moto3.