Revolution At Ducati: Preziosi To Be Replaced At Ducati Corse?

A revolution is about to take place at Ducati, several reliable sources are reporting. The Bologna factory's new owners Audi are pushing through wholesale changes, both MotoSprint and are reporting, which include relieving Filippo Preziosi of his responsibility for Ducati's MotoGP project and embarking on a parallel project to have Suter build a new chassis for the bike. Who is to take the place of Preziosi at the head of Ducati Corse is unclear, but the name of Paolo Ciabatti, currently involved in World Superbikes and previously head of Ducati's WSBK team, is being mentioned.

According to the reports in the Italian press, the removal of Preziosi is part of a wholesale reorganization of Ducati's MotoGP project. The structure is to be altered to make it more 'Japanese' with the work divided up into separate divisions, and without tight central control of all aspects. Suter has been commissioned by Audi to build a new chassis for the Ducati as part of a separate, parallel project to try to improve the bike.

Preziosi, as the head of the project, is paying the price for the failure of the Ducati Corse department to make the Desmosedici competitive. Audi had put a lot of effort into retaining Valentino Rossi for Ducati, and are said to have been very unhappy when it was announced he had decided to leave and return to Yamaha. The loss of Rossi was probably the final straw for Audi, the German car manufacturer deciding at that point that drastic measures would be needed to rectify the situation.

The news had been intended to be broken after the Valencia tests have been completed, and Ducati spokespeople are still denying the truth of the reports. Filippo Preziosi is currently attending the race weekend, and will oversee the test efforts on Tuesday and Wednesday. The reports from Italy suggest that Preziosi is to be forced out of Ducati altogether, but it is unclear whether a new role will be found for the man behind all of Ducati's racing projects.

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I am so happy to hear this! He caught lightening in a bottle in 2007 and the bike has floundered since. Casey being the only rider to hide its shortcomings. He never listened to the rider's complaints for years. Now look where the bike is. It is an embarrassment to the company. He is, and has been, the brains behind the development. It is obvious he has to go. It is the definition of insanity to continue with him!

to let people go but seems a logical solution. The unclear bit is why is it tied to Rossi. If they were to change mgmt they should have done it before (or at least decide it before). Now it has no connection on consquences on retain a rider.

Said to see someone let go, but I don't think they had a choice. Maybe he will stay on the production side. But I think that he didn't listen to the riders feedback. that seemed the biggest complaint from Casey and Rossi. Rossi wanted a less peaky engine for 2 years and never got it.

Stoner never blamed Prezioso for the failure to give the team the changes they needed, he has continually pointed out that the race team (which included Prezioso) asked for changes but that Ducati wouldn't do it for them.

So let's be clear, Ducati MANAGEMENT didn't listen, or at worst didn't act on what they were told. I think some of those heads have already rolled.

Ducati is so far out of contention right now that clearly a massive change is needed, changing out the man at the top is a massive change. It's got to be done.

Keeping Rossi was crucial for Ducati, because they knew they wouldn't have a chance to acquire another 'alien'. That they made little progress in 2 years with Rossi, following 3 years of going backwards, something had to change.

It may be way too simplistic to lay the blame for the lack of competitive development entirely at Preziosi's feet. We do not know how much of that failure was attributable to a 'wouldn't change' mentality by Preziosi - which seems to be the thrust of the conclusions from many people - to a 'couldn't change' situation due to limitations being placed on him by senior management direction. Stoner, who had a very good relationship right up to the end of his time at Ducati with the engineering team, has alluded to the problems being higher-up than Ducati Corse management.

Remember that the whole stressed airbox concept that spawned the deservedly maligned c/f frame was a racing development of a commercial decision (and patent/s) developed by Ducati for production reasons. It is not unreasonable to believe that this whole line of development was a management-mandated 'trickle-down' from production to racing, not vice-versa - the racing machines were supposed to validate the concept as a PR exercise.

We have repeatedly been told that the L-4 design was 'Ducati DNA'; how do we know that any suggestion Preziosi might have made to change that configuration was not rejected by his superiors rather than being something he himself rejected? Preziosi was not the man who created the connection with L-configuration engines at Ducati. There is no evidence to suggest that Preziosi himself held the concept as immutable.

Sacrificing Preziosi at this point smacks of a token gesture of atonement by Ducati management, a symbolic purification ritual to assure their new owners that 'things will change'. It would make far better sense for Ducati to retain Preziosi and the core of that team to at least run the 2013 bikes while the new generation is developed in parallel, thus providing a baseline from which to work.

Sorry to say but your timeline is incorrect. The stressed member cf frame was being used by Corsa long before the 1199. The 1199 was based off of the GP bike not the other way around as I believe you are saying. Also, you say the carbon frame was much rightfully much maligned. Casey actually said the cf frame was better than the steel trellis that preceded it. He said the tolerances of the steel trellis could not be consistent enough leaving the #1 bike and #2 bike having completely different feels. Ducati actually had to eat crow by coming out with the 1199 based on the GP bike while Prezioso abandoned it for the twin spar. You say he is the scapegoat for Ducati, but it is Audi who is saying he has to go. When a company is failing, it is the CEO that has to go. The company is Corsa, and the CEO is Prezioso. When you have riders like Stoner, Melandri, Hayden and finally Rossi that tell you the bike needs to be changed and 4 years later it has the same issues, the designer has to go. If it was management tying his hands due to fundamentals, he wouldn't have been allowed to go to a twin spar. He made the calls, he failed, he walks.

It's armchair arrogance to blame Preziosi for all the problems when we don't have intimate knowledge of the inner workings of Ducati Corse. Stoner has a better chance of understanding the situation and he disagrees with most posters here.

"The blame lay not with Preziosi, Stoner said, but with the amount of money which Ducati Corse had to spend. "[Money] was the problem for us anyway," Stoner said."

I rather like what I've seen and heard of Preziosi. If he goes, I doubt it will be the last we hear of him. But, for reasons not entirely of his own making, it's quite some time since he had the unswerving confidence and support of senior management, race team and fans. Ducati have been more patient than Honda or Yamaha would have been in similar circumstances. You can't continue running a race team on sentiment.

Don't be too hasty to grant a reprieve to Phillipio. (1) Those of you who have followed this closely will remember his comments about and resistance to using a 4 cylinder and seriously wanted to use a V twin in the motogp project. - seriously. (2) and yes it is common for the boss to fall on his sword when a company fails - he has failed to deliver for whatever reason, so he must go. On that matter Ezpeleta should go the same reason