Major changes in store at Ducati?

Rumours of major upheaval at Ducati have been omnipresent since the Italian manufacturer was purchased by Audi in the summer.

But today several Italian media outlets have reported that the team’s technical chief, Flippo Preziosi, will be ousted after the Valencia tests and that a major shift in philosophy will take place in Bologna. Preziosi will be removed from his position as head of Ducati’s MotoGP team but perhaps far more significant is that the team’s ideology will also change.

Since purchasing Ducati Audi have taken stock of the team’s problems in 2012 and identified key areas with which they will make wholesale changes. The most significant change will see chassis manufacturer Suter build the chassis while Ducati concentrate on developing the engine.

Suter, whose chassis has won the Moto2 world championship with Marc Marquez this year, were commissioned by Audi earlier in the season to develop a chassis for the Desmosedici.

Ducati are denying the reports when asked and this afternoon both Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden also denied having been informed of the decision but it seems all but certain that the final days of Preziosi’s reign are coming to an end.

It is ironic that Ducati will now look to develop their machinery more in keeping with the “Japanese” philosophy. On Friday Casey Stoner was asked what were the biggest differences between racing for Honda and Ducati.

“Towards the end of my time with Ducati I had the engineers working together a lot better but unfortunately the people above us weren’t giving us the funding to push forward,” said Stoner. “At Honda I haven’t found that at all. Since I first went there everything that we asked for and every but of input we’ve put in and everything that we think might move us forward they have produced.”

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