Filippo Preziosi Resigns From Ducati

Long-serving engineer leaves Italian motorcycle manufacturer.

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Filippo Preziosi, Ducati CorseDucati

Ducati announced today that Filippo Preziosi has resigned his position as director of R&D.; According to a press release, poor health led to the 45-year-old Preziosi’s decision to leave the Borgo Panigale company for whom he’s been employed for the past 19 years. Twelve of those years were spent in the racing department.

Preziosi is paralyzed from a motorcycle accident in Northern Africa in December, 2000. He is confined to a wheelchair but has regained use of his hands.

Considered by some to be one of the greatest minds in the MotoGP paddock, Preziosi was at the heart of a poor-finishes-led shakeup last fall that eventually resulted in his being shuffled from general manager of the racing department to director of R&D;—a production motorcycle-oriented role. Former BMW Director of Motorsport, Bernhard Gobmeier, took over the top racing position in January.

Preziosi designed Ducati's "frameless" MotoGP chassis, whose central carbon-fiber "pyramid" bolted to the cylinder heads of the engine and rigidly held the steering head. Two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner won seven races on that machine between 2009 and '10. A more traditional twin-beam aluminum frame has been used for the past two seasons.

Ducati has not said who will fill the now-vacant role as head of R&D.