Davide Tardozzi's departure from the BMW team has long been rumored, yet it still came as a surprise when it finally happened. The problem, it now appears, was deep disagreement with other senior members of the team about the structure of BMW's World Superbike squad, though BMW's Motorsport Director Berthold Hauser's comments on the separation were worded rather gingerly in a press release:
BMW Motorrad Motorsport and Davide Tardozzi have agreed to part company by mutual consent with immediate effect. BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director, Berthold Hauser, says: "With his wealth of experience Davide has been a great help to us this season in his role as Team Manager. However, he and the team had different ideas regarding the structure of the team. We would like to thank Davide for his contribution to a good partnership and wish him all the best for the future."
Just how sensitive the subject is was clear from the fact that the news was announced in the team's press release from the first day of practice at the Magny-Cours World Superbike round - employing the old spin doctor trick of slipping uncomfortable news out on a busy news day.
In an interview with the Italian website Motonline.it, Davide Tardozzi agreed that the separation had been by mutual consent, but made it clear that he believed his position had been made impossible by political infighting inside the team. "In the first half of the season, they let me work the way we agreed," Tardozzi told Motonline, "but then things started to change, friction crept in, getting worse and worse, and in the end, a break-up was inevitable. Regardless of the results on track, somebody didn't like the way I worked, and with the complicity of others, did all they could to make things difficult for me."
The situation left no other course of action than for Tardozzi to leave the team, the Italian manager believes. The disagreement over the way of working was so fundamental that it was impossible to continue. Asked whether the decision to end the contract was his or BMW's Tardozzi said that it was not really down to one party or the other. "At the point we had reached, it was the best solution for both of us. Let's say it was a divorce by mutual consent," Tardozzi told Motonline.it.
The Italian had not yet decided what he would be doing next year, though he admitted that he would be unlikely to manage the team run by BMW Italia, with Ayrton Badovini. Tardozzi also brushed off rumors he would be heading to Sterilgarda Yamaha to replace Massimo Meregalli, the current WSBK manager who is heading to Yamaha's MotoGP team to take on the role of managing Ben Spies, who has been promoted to the factory squad after Valentino Rossi's departure to Ducati. "I think Yamaha has decided to replace Meregalli with someone else," Tardozzi said.