Ducati’s Dall’Igna «very disappointed» to lose key tech man to Yamaha

Bartolini, Ducati’s vehicle performance engineer and Dall’Igna’s right-hand man, left the Italian manufacturer to join rival Yamaha as the Japanese brand went on a recruiting drive to bolster its technical line-up in an attempt to return to the front of the field.

While the news was welcomed by Yamaha, it was a blow for Ducati, aware of the gap left by the Italian in the racing department of the Borgo Panigale company, and of the revitalisation that he could bring to the Japanese manufacturer.

Bartolini’s farewell was particularly painful for Dall’Igna, who has lost his right-hand man as well as a friend.

«Max has worked with me for many years and was a key person within Ducati Corse,» Dall’Igna told Motorsport.com. «With his experience and his knowledge of our bike, he can bring a lot to Yamaha.

«I was very disappointed to see him leave, because of his technical profile and because of who he is as a person.»

Despite the disappointment, Dall’Igna is aware of the opportunity that Bartolini’s offer from Yamaha presented to him, so he fully understands why he accepted it.

«Max has taken an important step forward in his career, so I understand the nature of his decision and I can’t say anything about it,» Dall’Igna added.

«I recognise that it was impossible for him to turn down an offer like the one he received. It’s part of the game and you have to accept it.»

Ducati Desmosedici GP24, Gigi Dall'Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager

Ducati Desmosedici GP24, Gigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager

Photo by: Ducati Corse

While Dall’Igna regrets the move, Yamaha is delighted with it.

Bartolini’s arrival, which materialised shortly after that of Marco Nicotra – an aerodynamicist that Yamaha also poached from Ducati – responds to the demands made by Fabio Quartararo, who had been asking for months, even years, for a change in the Iwata team’s methods.

«Max has brought serenity, a method of working and has given us much more capacity to react, as well as all that his experience at Ducati means in terms of knowledge,» Quartararo said when asked by Motorsport.com about Bartolini.

«It’s not just what he knows,» said another Yamaha member. «It’s that he’s great at communicating. That’s one of his strengths. He injects a lot of good humour and good vibes, he asks a lot of questions and has a lot of empathy.»

The idiosyncrasies of Japanese MotoGP manufacturers are particular, partly because of their suspicion of anything that does not come from their own philosophy.

Yamaha officials agree with this reading, which is why they have placed Bartolini on the same level as Kazuhiro Masuda, the new M1 project leader. Both report to Takahiro Sumi, the general manager of the constructor’s racing division, but on an equal footing.

«Bartolini has been placed in a boss position as if he were Japanese,» added the source.

The question is whether Yamaha will indeed take him into account in the development of the M1.

«If you sign two such high-level people like Max and Marco, you have to believe them and let them work,» Quartararo added.

In that sense, Ducati agrees with the French rider in arguing that it would be absurd to have made this bet and not take advantage of it.

«There are two possibilities: that Yamaha will listen to him, and in this case, he will soon be at the top. Or that he is the one who has to adapt to Yamaha, which would be a huge mistake,» says Davide Tardozzi, Ducati team manager.

Source link