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GP Week : Issue 177a
MOTOGP >>> NEWS MOTOGP >>> NEWS DUCATI: AUDI SWEEP THE BOARD Top management rejig as MotoGP f ightback begins The first sweeping changes at Ducati were officially confirmed this week, with a German Audi nominee in the key MotoGP role, and an ex-Superbike director returning to take over management of the team. The most significant appointment is the first: 53-year-old German Bernhard Gobmeier takes over the role of general manager of the racing wing, Ducati Corse. Former general manager, long-time race design chief Filippo Preziosi, has been moved aside to a new role in overall research and development for the parent company, Ducati Motor Holdings. Gobmeier is fresh from BMW, where his most recent role earned him considerable credibility. He ran the BMW Superbike team, and under his control the bikes matured to become regular race winners and in the hands of Marco Melandri a serious title threat this year, spoiled only by injury. The other departure from the racing department is project director Alessandro Cicognani, replaced by a senior figure returning to the company after five years as director of World Superbikes. Paolo Ciabatti ran Ducati’s highly successful World Superbike programme between 1999 and 2007, and is a high-profile figure in international racing. The company’s image in MotoGP has been badly dented by the failure of Valentino Rossi, after two seasons which brought no wins and only three rostrums for the nine-times World Champion. He had taken over from Casey Stoner, who won 23 races on the V4 Desmosedici. The first task of the new management will be to solve the handling issues that plagued the Italian superstar from start to finish. Experiments with FTR-built aluminium chassis had not brought success, and soon after the Audi takeover Ducati opened a line of consultancy with Swiss constructors Suter. Gabriele Del Torchio, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, predicted that “with this new organisation and focused strategy, we will achieve our targets. With these new appointments and the 2013 riders announced in MotoGP and World Superbike, we are well prepared to move for ward into the new racing season,” he said. MOTOCOURSE ON COURSE Coming soon, for Christmas, is the 2012-13 issue of Motocourse, the bible of MotoGP annuals, edited by our own Michael Scott. Now in it's 37th year (21 with Scott as editor), Motocourse continues to go from strength to strength as the fortunes of MotoGP continue to flourish. Motocourse is not simply a lavish document of the MotoGP and Superbike seasons, it is a highly collectable resource respected by all within the industry. The annual is bought by many teams and riders and is widely recognised as the leading annual in this exciting sport. Motocourse is packed with detailed race reports, in-depth analysis, rider profiles and outstanding photography that brings to life the excitement of this massively popular sport. Check out: http://www.autocourse.com/ products/motocourse-2012-annual/ 14 GPWEEK.com // 14 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: