Valentino Rossi and former Ducati technical guru Filippo Preziosi sometimes did not see eye to eye during Rossi's ill-fated two years with the Boys from Bologna, but current Ducati Team rider Nick Hayden was sad to see the removal of Preziosi from Ducati Corse after last season.
Preziosi was removed from his position by new Ducati owners Audi in favor of former BMW Superbike boss Bernhard Gobmeier last November, moved to an abstract "research and design" job in the company. Preziosi had been the engineering mastermind of Ducati's MotoGP project since its arrival in 2003, but he at times banged craniums with Rossi over development decisions of the team's GP11 and GP12 machines.
"I had a great relationship (with Preziosi), but we didn't get the results recently," Hayden said to English media. "But if you're waiting for me to point the finger at him or anybody, it is not going to happen. I don't want people on the outside to think he was the problem, but unfortunately somebody has got to take the fall. He was a big part of the team."
Hayden added he was eager to see the direction Gobmeier would take the team, which is winless in MotoGP since 2010.
"I'm open to see what Mr. Gobmeier's new ideas are," Hayden said. "Filippo was great with this bike, but we weren't going anywhere. As Mr. Gobmeier said, it is not as if Filippo has completely gone. He is still at Ducati, and he'll still be there for advice."
Outwardly, Gobmeier would seem to be more of a manager than an MotoGP engineer, but some outsiders saw that as one of Ducati's problems in 2011-2012--the team lacked real management.