Former General Manager of Ducati Corse Filippo Preziosi has resigned from the company, ending his 19-year career with the Italian manufacturer. Preziosi led Ducati‘s racing program for the last decade including its lone MotoGP championship in 2007, but the 44-year-old engineer also carries a lot of the blame for Ducati’s recent struggles including the doomed Valentino Rossi era.

Preziosi held the position of GM of Ducati Corse until last November when he was replaced with former BMW Superbike manager Bernhard Gobmeier. At the time, Ducati announced Preziosi would assume a new role as director of research and development for Ducati, tasked with developing new products.

It appears that Preziosi never actually assumed that new position. Ducati says Preziosi was to take on his new role “after a period of rest”. The company now says Preziosi has resigned due to “health reasons related to his particular physical condition”. Preziosi is a parapalegic, losing the use of the lower half of his body after an accident in 2000.

The role of director of R&D is now vacant. Ducati says it will name a successor in due course.

[Source: Ducati]