The last race of the 2009 MotoGP season will also be the last race in Ducati Marlboro Team colours for Livio Suppo, Ducati's MotoGP project manager, as the Italian manager will leave Ducati to embark on a new professional adventure.
The last race of the 2009 MotoGP season will also be the last race in Ducati Marlboro Team colours for Livio Suppo, Ducati’s MotoGP project manager, as the Italian manager will leave Ducati to embark on a new professional adventure.
It is believed that Suppo will make the surprise switch to Honda for the 2010 season, joining the factory Repsol team of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso in a management role.
Suppo joined Ducati ten years ago and was involved in the manufacturer’s MotoGP project from the very beginning, contributing to Casey Stoner’s world title victory of 2007 and to the many podiums and successes that have characterised the life of the Ducati Desmosedici from its debut in 2003 up until this weekend’s season finale.
“Livio has meant a great deal to Ducati and also to me personally, he has been a loyal and valuable colleague but above all a great friend,” commented Claudio Domenicali, General Director of Ducati. “We are very sorry that he has decided to leave the company but, in light of his correctness, professionalism and the great contribution he has made to the growth and success of the MotoGP project and the Ducati brand, we can only offer him our very best wishes as he takes on a new professional challenge.”
The move has forced Ducati to restructure its MotoGP team, with current Ducati Corse marketing manager Alessandro Ciconani now responsible for the project, while current test rider Vito Guareschi taking over the role of team manager.
“This is, however, also one of those moments in which we can rethink our organization in order to further improve, and this is what we have done in defining the 2010 team’s direction,” explained Domenicali.
For Stoner, he was disappointed to see Suppo leave, dispelling any rumours of a rift during the pre-race press conference at Valencia yesterday afternoon.
“Livio has played a big part, not only in my success but in the whole success of Ducati – he’s been there a long, long time, since the beginning of the MotoGP project,” Stoner said. “He’s done a fantastic job and I think everyone in this room would agree with me.”
Big news doing the rounds in the Superbike World Championship ranks was that Davide Tardozzi is also primed to leave the Ducati Xerox Team, although it’s uncertain whether he’ll be remaining at Ducati or moving to another manufacturer for the new season.