Ducati Corse NewsThe past few years have been devastating for Ducati in both MotoGP and World Superbike.
The last – and only – MotoGP Championship arrived in 2007 with Casey Stoner at the controls of the GP7. Results were sour even with Valentino Rossi joined the team; during the 2011-2012 seasons, Rossi only took three podiums with Ducati.World Superbike used the be all about Ducati, the Italian manufacturer winning 17 of 25 titles. The last was in 2011 with Carlos Checa at the controls of the 1198R. But 2012 was anything but positive, and though much was expected out of the 1199 Panigale in 2013, the company continued to struggle.Things needed to change, and this is the cause of the recent shakeup in management at Ducati Corse.The biggest change is former Aprilia Racing Boss Luigi Dall’Igna taking the role of Ducati Corse General Manager. Dall’Igna’s position becomes official on Nov. 11, immediately after the end of the 2013 racing season. The 47-year-old led Aprilia Racing Team’s efforts in 2010 and 2012 when Max Biaggi (now retired) took the rider titles and Aprilia the manufacturer’s titles.Speaking of Dall’Igna, Ducati says “his expertise will enable the Bologna-based manufacturer to increase its focus on the technical aspects of its racing activity, continuing to lay the foundations for a new phase of development and improving its competitive results. Mr. Dall’Igna will report directly to Ducati Motor Holding CEO, Claudio Domenicali.”Taking over Dall’Igna’s former position at Aprilia as head of sports activities will be Romano Albesiano, who is currently the head of Piaggio Group’s Motorbike Technical Center.The man Dall’Igna replaces at Ducati, Bernhard Gobmeier, will return to Germany and pursue the position within the Motorsport organization of the Volkswagen Group, which owns Ducati. Gobmeier, 54, spent 10 months as Ducati Corse General Manager.Ducati reports that Paolo Ciabatti, who has been the MotoGP Project Manager since January, is confirmed in his role and will report directly to the new Ducati Corse General Manager, as will 39-year-old Engineer Ernesto Marinelli, Ducati Superbike Project Manager for the past two seasons. These appointments will also become effective Nov. 11Claudio Domenicali (Ducati CEO) says: “Thanks to this appointment, we can look forward to the next racing season with renewed motivation. We are confident that the new Ducati Corse organization, and a strategy even more focussed on technical development, will help us achieve our targets, ensuring that Ducati once again becomes a key player both in MotoGP and Superbike.“I would like to personally thank Bernhard for his work during these past ten months, and wish Gigi a warm welcome. I am certain that his solid experience combined with our technology and R&D and the technical support supplied by the Audi/VW Group, will help us restore Ducati to the level of racing excellence it had in the very recent past.”
This Podcast is also brought to you by the new modular helmet from Schuberth, the C5. The C5 blends safety with light weight and amazing quietness. Visit Schuberth.com for more information.
This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!