FILIPPO Preziosi, the man at the heart of Ducati's MotoGP project has resigned.
Preziosi is widely known as the brains behind the Desmosedici MotoGP bike which, ridden by Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi bagged a podium on its debut in 2003. However, Preziosi was under increasing amounts of pressure during the last two seasons when dream signing Valentino Rossi failed to win races on the struggling MotoGP machine.
Audi, the new owners of Ducati, announced Preziosi's replacement last november in the form of Bernhard Gobmeier, former BMW World Superbike project director.
Preziosi was due to move from Ducati Corse back to Ducati Motor Holding where he would have been head of Research & Development. He cited ill-health as his reason for resigning.
A statement released by Ducati reads: "The company respectfully acknowledges the 45-year old Italian’s decision and thanks him for his significant contribution during his 19 years with Ducati, 12 of which were within Ducati Corse. "Previously occupying the role of General Manager of Ducati Corse, Preziosi, was appointed Director of Research and Development of Ducati Motor Holding at the end of 2012 and was to start his new role after a period of rest. An announcement of the successor to this strategic role, now left vacant by the resignation, will be communicated in due course."