You think it’s hard keeping track of which riders are with which teams from season to season? Try wrapping your head around the shifts in the corporate side of racing. Ducati has signed Luigi Dall’Igna, formerly the racing honcho at Aprilia, as the new General Manager of Ducati Corse. Ducati hopes Dall’Igna’s years in MotoGP and World Superbike “will enable the Bologna-based manufacturer to increase its focus on the technical aspects of its racing activity, continuing to lay the foundations for a new phase of development and improving its competitive results.” In other words, “We’re counting on you to get us back on the podium, Luigi. Capisce?” Dall’Igna will report directly to Claudio Domenicali, Ducati’s CEO.
Dell’Igna’s old parking space at Aprilia will be taken by Romano Albesiano, who takes charge of the company’s sports activities in addition to his current gig as head of the Piaggio Groups’s Motorbike Technical Center.
Albesiano has a varied background that includes MotoGP, World Superbike, and the German Touring Car series (DTM). He was involved with Cagiva’s MotoGP bikes during the 1991-94 seasons, then left to work as the aerodynamics project leader for AMG Mercedes in DTM. He went back to Cagiva in 1998 and became the Motor Vehicles R&D manager for Cagiva and Husqvarna; Husky won two world titles during his tenure. He joined the Piaggio Group in 2005 as Aprilia Product Development Manager.
As Motorbike Technical Center manager, Albesiano directed development of the Aprilia RSV4 bike and its 1000cc V4 engine, which earned Aprilia Racing four world titles in World Superbike. Given the stated reason for his predecessor’s departure, which according to Aprilia was “due to the differences in strategic vision with regard to the management of sports activities, as well as in view of the results achieved so far in the 2013 season of the Superbike World Championship”, expect Albesiano to get Aprilia back in the hunt.