Filippo Preziosi has resigned from Ducati citing poor health. The former director of Ducati’s MotoGP project, Preziosi was slated to serve as head of R&D at Ducati.
Preziosi was due to start his new post after a period of rest, but a statement from Ducati announces his decision to resign from “poor health related to his particular physical condition.” Preziosi was paralyzed following a motorcycle accident in 2000, which left him unable to move his legs and partial movement in his upper extremities.
The 45-year-old Italian first joined Ducati in 1994. He contributed to the development of the Ducati 916 and subsequent Superbike projects, with his engineering talents transferred to the company’s official racing subsidiary – Ducati Corse.
Preziosi took over as Technical Director of Ducati Corse in 1999 and later served as General Manager at Ducati Corse. He spearheaded the marque’s MotoGP project. The highlight came in 2007, when Casey Stoner piloted the Desmosedici to a dominating MotoGP title. Stoner continued to find race-winning success, but the Ducati foundered after the Australian’s departure to Honda.
The final years of Preziosi’s tenure at Ducati Corse were marred by Valentino Rossi’s lackluster results on the Ducati. Winless and unable to contend with the factory efforts from Honda and Yamaha, Rossi voiced dissatisfaction with the Desmosedici and its development.
In November 2012 Preziosi was replaced as General Manager with former BMW World Superbike head, Bernhard Gobmeier.
Ducati issued the following statement announcing Preziosi’s departure:
“Engineer, Filippo Preziosi, has communicated his intention to resign from his position at Ducati Motor Holding.
“Declaring reasons of poor health related to his particular physical condition, Preziosi’s resignation was accepted by Ducati, saddened and disappointed to lose such an accomplished and strategic member of staff. The company respectfully acknowledges the 45-year old Italian’s decision and thanks him for his significant contribution during his 19 years with Ducati, 12 of which were within Ducati Corse.
“Previously occupying the role of General Manager of Ducati Corse, Preziosi, was appointed Director of Research and Development of Ducati Motor Holding at the end of 2012 and was to start his new role after a period of rest. An announcement of the successor to this strategic role, now left vacant by the resignation, will be communicated in due course.”