Suppo confirms Honda role as Ducati announce his departure

Livio suppo leaves ducati marlboro
Thursday, 5 November 2009

The Ducati Marlboro Team have announced that the final round of the 2009 season in Valencia will be Livio Suppo’s last race as Team Manager, with the Italian confirming he has agreed to take a role with Honda Racing Corporation.

The last race of the 2009 MotoGP season will be Livio Suppo’s last in his capacity as Ducati Marlboro Project Manager, the factory team has announced. The Italian has himself confirmed that he will take up a role with HRC next season as he seeks a new challenge.

Suppo, who has been with the Italian manufacturer since 1999, will end his eleven-year association with Ducati after the final race of the season in Valencia, and will fulfil a role as a Marketing Director for HRC’s MotoGP activities for the start of the 2010 season.

The Italian, who helped turn Ducati into a 2007 title-winning team with the signing of Casey Stoner, has explained that the desire for a new challenge was the driving force behind his switch.

“It’s been a very good relationship for me; eleven years working with Ducati has been a dream, and I think together we have achieved something good,” said Suppo. “I think sometimes in life you need new motivation. I must thank Ducati of course for all the opportunities they gave me, and also HRC for being interested in me. It’s a new challenge, it won’t be easy but we will do our best.”

Suppo continued, “Eleven years at Ducati has been magic. Of course the 2007 World Championship was the highest hope at the beginning. Since then it has also been good to work together with Filippo (Preziosi, Ducati Corse General Manager) and Claudio (Domenicali, General Director of Ducati) and all the team, and I’ll leave a piece of my heart in this company. But again, I think Honda is something difficult to resist.”

“Next year I will be a kind of Marketing Director for the MotoGP activities and I hope to start on the right foot.”

Announcing Suppo’s imminent departure earlier on Thursday, Domenicali said, “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. 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.”

Domenicali then revealed the change in set-up that will be enacted at Ducati post-Valencia, saying, “This is, however, also one of those moments in which we can rethink our organisation in order to further improve, and this is what we have done in defining the 2010 team’s direction. The management of the Ducati Marlboro Team will be entrusted to, and reinforced by, two new managerial figures. Alessandro Cicognani, currently marketing manager for the Ducati Corse Division, will be responsible for the MotoGP project and alongside him, Vittoriano Guareschi, already the test rider for Ducati, will undertake the role of Team Manager, bringing to the squad a wealth of knowledge and experience that he has gained through being a professional rider and, most recently, a test rider.”

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