Ducati has reportedly signed Aprilia Racing manager Gigi Dall’Igna to take control of its struggling MotoGP program. Neither Ducati Corse or Aprilia Racing have confirmed the reports, but several sources in the European motorsports press such as Motociclismo.it, not to mention a tweet from retired World Superbike Champion Max Biaggi, claim the deal is done.
Dall’Igna has been an instrumental figure in Aprilia’s racing success since the manufacturer’s return to WSBK racing with the RSV4 in 2009, helping guide Biaggi to two championships and, pending the result of the 2013 season finale at Jerez, likely three manufacturers titles.
Ducati Corse, meanwhile, has struggled in recent years. After Audi acquired Ducati last year, team manager Filippe Preziosi was replaced by Bernhard Gobmeier. The arrival of the former BMW race director has done little to turn things around, with Ducati now four rounds away from being shut out of podium finishes for the first time since returning to GP racing in 2003. Ducati’s WSBK program hasn’t been much better, with development on the 1199 Panigale R falling short of expectations.
According to reports, Dall’Igna will report to Gobmeier but will have free reign over Ducati Corse including selecting his own engineers.