Another key member of Ducati Corse is leaving the manufacturer's MotoGP outfit, this time apparently without being pushed through the door.
Vittoriano Guareschi, known to MotoGP fans as "Vitto, the dude with the ferocious sideburns," will leave Ducati after this season to manage Valentino Rossi's new team in Moto3 starting in 2014.
Guareschi has worked for Ducati for 13 years, including the last four as team manager for the marque's struggling MotoGP outfit. Former World Superbike and Supersport rider Guareschi, 42, served as a test rider for Ducati, among other roles, until he was promoted to team manager.
Guareschi was key in luring Rossi to Ducati--the pair have been friends for years. Hence, many suspected that Guareschi's job was in danger when the Rossi dream turned into a nightmare and the Italian returned to Yamaha after two largely fruitless years in red. As test rider turned co-team manager and then team manager, Guareschi seemed quite culpable in the Rossi failure.
Italian Romano Fenati will ride a KTM for Rossi's new team, which has primary sponsorship from Sky TV. The second rider has not been named.
Guareschi's exit is the second high-profile departure from Ducati in the last two weeks. Ducati Corse boss Bernhard Gobmeier recently was removed from his position and sent packing to anonymity at Volkswagen's racing division, replaced at Ducati by former Aprilia Racing head Gigi Dall'Igna.
No replacement was named for Guareschi at Ducati. But former Ducati WSBK boss Davide Tardozzi may be one of the first numbers dialed on Dall'Igna's mobile phone.