Ducati Press Release: Gigi Dall"Igna To Replace Bernhard Gobmeier As Head Of Ducati Corse

Ducati Motor Holding have today confirmed that Gigi Dall'Igna is to become the new head of Ducati Corse. He will replace Bernhard Gobmeier, who took over from Filippo Preziosi after Audi bought Ducati. Gobmeier is off to a new role in Volkswagen Group Motorsport, returning to four wheels.

Below is the press release announcing the move:


Engineer Luigi Dall’Igna to become new Ducati Corse General Manager

Bernhard Gobmeier to assume a new important role within Volkswagen Group Motorsport
Luigi Dall’Igna to be appointed Ducati Corse General Manager

The new positions will become effective from 11 November, 2013

Borgo Panigale (Bologna, Italy), 10 October, 2013 – Ducati announces the appointment of Mr. Luigi Dall’Igna as the new General Manager of Ducati Corse. Having played key roles for many years in both MotoGP and World Superbike championships, 47-year-old Mr. Dall’Igna has acquired significant experience in the world of motor sport. 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.

Bernhard Gobmeier, who has been the General Manager of Ducati Corse for the past ten months, will return to Germany to pursue the opportunity of a prestigious and strategic position within the Motorsport organisation of the Volkswagen Group. In his new position, the 54-year-old Engineer from Bavaria will continue his upward professional curve within the VW Group.

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. The new appointments become effective from 11 November, 2013, immediately after the end of the 2013 racing season.

Ducati Motor Holding CEO, Claudio Domenicali commented: “Thanks to this appointment, we can look forward to the next racing season with renewed motivation. We are confident that the new Ducati Corse organisation, 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.”

2013

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Comments

Well I guess it's not a rumor anymore. It will be very interesting to see how the silly season plays out now. ART out of MotoGP, Hayden back to Ducati or is it Honda? Once again.....wow!

Total votes: 137

I thought that he'd be reporting into Gobmeier. Not running the whole show. Hopefully this is the corner Ducati need to turn. Wish him the very best of luck.

Total votes: 136

This is very bad news. Obviously Ducati absolutely wanted to prevent at all costs that they would be beaten by Aprilia in MotoGP, which would be much worse than just being beaten by Honda and Yamaha.
Maybe Ducati now will get better, but I'm very afraid this might end the Aprilia MotoGP program. And what will Hayden do now? He surely does not want to ride his old Ducati again next year!

Total votes: 139

This was always a likely turn of events, I think. Given the rather deep Audi pockets, they simply had to dangle a big enough carrot and they'd have their man.

What difference can the guy make, though? The guy surely knows a lot about building a winning bike, given the pedigree of the RSV4 and ART machines. But, is it too late to make any difference in the bike they've already been developing for 2014? Seeing as he'll be the man in charge of the whole deal, it would presumably be within his remit if he decided to scrap the shitter they have now and start with a whole new design?

The flip side of that question is, what difference will it make at Aprilia? In both the Superbike and Grand Prix programmes?

Total votes: 139

Is probably very happy. Perhaps it was a lucky/wise/clever choice that Mr Crutchlow made.......

This seems to be a very clever move by Ducati and it also confirms that VAG are not 'jumping ship' in either category, which has to be good. A shame this couldn't have been done sooner but planets needed to align, obviously. Probably worth the wait. His knowledge of the CRT effort alone must be worth the salary. Being Italian must re-assure the Ducati Corse team too.

It's questionable (however well they have done so far) whether Piaggio has the wherewithal to go head to head with the big boys in MGP and Dall'Igna obviously wants more than to be 'best of the second-runners'.

I feel for the Aprilia boys though - he will be a great loss and I hope it is not the death knell for their MGP programme (or WSB). The end of RSV efforts would be a great loss. Perhaps they will re-focus on Moto2 and WSB if Aspar jump to Honda (surely 4 Ducati's is enough?). Greater relevance for road bikes and they need a good 600/800.

Nicky must be wincing though - as I doubt Ducati would allow Dall'Igna to bring to him back and the Aprilia effort looks a bit suspect. Perhaps Aspar can help top-up that US-Honda pot, or reduce the HRC bill.

Total votes: 122

That has been rumoures for sucha long time I did not think it would happen. This is a master stroke for Ducato. Aprilia has their chassis down. It is exactlywhat Ducati needs.

Total votes: 138

Nicky, from a business standpoint has done great in his MGP career. But as a rider, he's suffered because of it. He'll definitely be pushing ahead with plan B now. God, I hope he has a plan B.

Total votes: 134

Nicky's plan B will be his plan A, I think. Sign with Aspar and ride whatever they decide to get him. I would think he's sorta stuck at this point. Unless he decides to go WSBK racing with Ducati now that Gigi is his boss. Or will be.

Total votes: 136

Because Aprilia was going pay his salary. Aspar no longer has Power Electronics as a sponsor, so they can't pay Hayden's salary without help. If American Honda can come through with enough money and HRC plays ball, it could very well be a Honda.

But Martinez and Gigi are close friends. It seems Gigi wants Aspar at Ducati and he's pretty fond of Hayden. Now that he's head of Ducati Corse, the game has changed a bit. This may be too much for Aspar to pass up.

So that could leave Hayden riding a customer GP13 again, which would be cruel.

Unless there are other plans in Gigi's head. I wonder if the Pramac team is nervous right now.

And how does Aprilia respond, if at all? This is a PR and organizational disaster for them. It'll be worse if they pull back their efforts.

Total votes: 121

Luigi is in a win/win/win situation.

Win 1. He is the HMFIC of all of it and gets the corresponding paycheck

Win 2. If he can turn their fortunes around he will get all the credit.

Win 3. If he cannot turn it around, most will say it was too much for one person only.

Total votes: 126

Espargaro must've known as he was determined to jump ship. Hayden probably did not see this coming. Then again, I suppose the 14 ART is ready to go if Aprillia wants to stay in GP.

Total votes: 127

One thing we can be sure of is whatever "work" Ducati did over the '13 season is null and void. Gigi will (rightly) start over of his own accord. To be truthful I don't think Gobmeier did much of anything. Just ask Dovi.

Total votes: 129

Never thought it would happen though. Now all they have to do rather than redesign the bike is tempt Tardozzi back and throw some VW Euro's at a Marquez sibling for 2015. Anyway its good to know Gigi is now at the helm and Ducati Corse, although under the helm of VW its an all Italian affair as it should be. The Noale factory lost out due to non commitment to GP prototype. Win or lose the Bologna factory have taken it on the chin for over decade and kept scratching. Kudos to them.
Who knows? Gigi and Fellipo may have some contact re the CF project of yesteryear. At least it won and podiumed a bunch of times. Smile Cal and Dovi.

Total votes: 137

It'll be interesting if this round of musical chairs pays off for Ducati, because so far all this personnel shuffling has gained them absolutely nothing.

Time for results. If Dall'Igna can't do it then nobody probably can.

That said, it's surely too late for him to effect any sort of tangible change in time for the first 2014 tests. We'll probably have to wait till the summer of 2014 before anything worthwhile comes down the pipeline. Somehow this all has a familiar ring to it though so I'm not getting my hopes up for the Boys from Bologna just yet.

Total votes: 131

has probably done a very good job and set Ducati on a good path.
He dealt with the 'dirty washing' (Preziosi - a very emotive issue because of his passion, seemingly being well-liked, and also being disabled), put some heads on the chickens running loose (they seem to have had one intense testing programme which, if nothing else, has proven that after all the in-house 'bright ideas' a clear-out/clean sheet is probably necessary). Having signed his successor he's rightly off to doing something else, because he probably isn't a bike racing team leader.
Dovi probably knew what was going on, and when some heads roll under Dall'Igna's management he will be seen as prescient. Or something.

With the RCV showing it works the L4/2's will be safe (I hope!) and he just has to work out what else to do.....

Those old team/new team mobiles must be getting a work-out.

Total votes: 115

Well seeing Aprilia got beaten by Kawasaki at SBK these days, seems that Gigi is going down the hill, but I wish him a great success with the red Duck. If Aprilia can get Furusawa, it would be a gain.

It is soon xplain why Espargaro dump Aprilia.

Total votes: 119

I fear Aprilia are about to pull out of MotoGP. Not because they have no good engineers besides Gigi Dall'Igna (I'm pretty sure they have other bright technicians as well), but because of the probable reason Dall'Igna left. I'm sure Gigi would have stayed at the factory where he has been so successful for so long if the MotoGP program would be moving forward in 2014.

I think the real culprits are the bean counters at Piaggio and the MotoGP rule makers that make life difficult by imposing silly fuel limits and/or not allowing your own electronics.

Of course I'm hoping I am wrong and that Aprilia have something up their sleeve. I was/am so looking forward to seeing Nicky on the Aprilia next year...

Total votes: 141

Putting aside the Honda option for a moment, it does seem that there's an increased chance that Aspar goes with Ducati. Being that Gigi now is the absoulute top man, it could open up some interesting possibilities. Martinez and Dall'Igna are close and it's already been reported that Gigi wants Aspar and Hayden at Ducati.

The only way I see Hayden getting interested at all in this is if Dall'Igna gives Aspar and Hayden a factory '14 bike, whatever that will be. Given Ducati's willingness to field four factory spec bikes this year, it doesn't seem out of the question, especially with Dall'Igna holding the checkbook. And it could be that Gigi has plans to replace Pramac with Aspar as soon as the contractual/financial situaton allows.

Maybe if Spies is indeed going to WSBK, another option is to shrink Pramac to one factory bike and a production bike and give the other factory bike to Aspar/Hayden. After all, Jonathan Rea turned Pramac down. No one, it seems, is itching to ride a Pramac Ducati.

It doesn't seem possible that they'd have a new ground-up machine by the beginning of next season, but maybe they start with an evolution of the current bike with an entirely new chassis. Gigi apparently has plans to poach some of Aprilia's chassis engineers. It's still a tough assignment, but maybe with enough money and manpower, they could get something different, if not entirely new, on the grid for next season and introduce a totally revised bike later.

Remember that this new effort is going to take a lot of development work, so having an additional MotoGP-level rider should help to shrink the timeframe just a little. I know Hayden was not keen to do development on a bike from scratch, but maybe this can be a second-best option for him.

As for Aprilia, who knows? Do they shrink away or fight back with assurances that they will retain or hire an engineer worthy of the position and move ahead with the program? Do they make a last ditch effort to pursuade Aspar to stay, even though it looks unlikely? Or do they try to sign Hayden and Eugene Laverty and recruit another team to take on the project?

So many interesting turns to come.

Total votes: 135

So Aprilia has already replaced Gigi by promotion of Romano Albesiano, who will retain his current duties, too.

They site a difference of opinion on the direction of the racing program as the reason for Dall'Igna's departure, as if that really needed any confirmation.

There is no mention of the current state or future of either the WBSK or MotoGP efforts, which might not mean much, but certainly doesn't seem promising.

It's looking like a Honda or, shudder, a Ducati for Aspar and Hayden. Let's hope Gigi has something interesting up his very well-funded sleeve.

Really disappointed about Aprilia. Such a promising and unique project likely gutted by the accountants. If the company can't really afford it, well, I can't really argue. But you do get the feeling that they gave Aspar and possibly even Dall'Igna the impression that they were committed to it. If that's the case, it's really wrong.

Total votes: 128

As a Nicky fan, I hope whatever happens, he's not on a Ducati in any championship. Tired of seeing just *3* podiums total in the past 5 years on Ducati. Sick of Ducati's crap, and Gigi isn't going to fix it in 1 year or even 2 years.

Total votes: 128

Nick can go wherever he likes,but he is not a part of this picture at age 30+. Hopefully Ducati have learned over the past several years that high ticket and high age riders do not contribute much to their race success on track nor developement. Nick on the Panigalle would be a sight to behold. He would wring its neck a'la AMA SBK days without constraint. He has immense knowledge of CF Ducati,dirt track,torque vs HP. And believe you me,nothing like dirt track, enduro riding etc,gets you more tuned in to tarmac racing. Those disciplines generally make tarmac so easily predictable. 120km/hr in the dirt is much like 300km/hr on the road.
To sum up,I think Nick should take the Ducati deal. Well,sure the Aprilia deal is a no brainer given Gigi's departure. Tight knit family. I wonder what Earl Hayden is thinking. All the best to y'all.

Total votes: 137

No other currently active rider has as much experience on the recent Ducati GP bikes. And, of course, Hayden has a good reputation as a team member and worker in the paddock. I suspect that's exactly what Gigi has in mind. He could be very valuable to getting the next bike off the ground as soon as humanly possible.

Add Hayden's knowledge of the ins and outs of the Ducati team operations, and I can see how he could be very much part of the picture at Ducati. Will he be a number one or two rider? Most probably not. Will he have a valuable role? Quite possibly. Maybe in helping with the WSBK program, too. And then after two or three more years in GPs, he could end up on the Panigale, after all. Remember that Gigi didn't ditch Hayden. He, in fact, hand picked him to help develop the Aprilia project. Now he holds all the keys at Ducati.

That said, I would expect that Gigi has a hell of a sales job ahead if he really wants Hayden.

Total votes: 115

Aprilia's CRT bike challenging Factory Ducati's...Ducati steals Dall'Igna.

Total votes: 136