Francesco Bagnaia ended a 15-year anticipate Ducati in final weekend’s season finale at Valencia, as he beat Fabio Quartararo to the MotoGP title by 17 factors.
It marks a hard-fought turnaround in fortunes between its first title in 2007 and 2022, with Ducati hitting its nadir in 2011/2012 when it failed to search out success with MotoGP legend Rossi – with the Italian scoring simply three podiums throughout two seasons earlier than returning to Yamaha.
Talking solely to Autosport following Bagnaia’s title win, sporting director Ciabatti – who admits halfway by 2013 having returned to the corporate that yr that he needed to stop because of the difficulties Ducati confronted – says the Rossi period of the marque left it beneath “excessive stress”.
“For me personally after I got here to Ducati in 2013, it was a number of months after Audi had acquired the corporate from the earlier house owners Investindustrial, there was some adjustments,” Ciabatti started when requested concerning the symbolic nature of Bagnaia’s title, the world champion being a product of Rossi’s VR46 Academy.
“The primary change was Filippo Presziosi determined to depart after two troublesome years with nice expectation on Valentino/Ducati partnership that didn’t carry the outcomes they anticipated.
“This left lots of wounds within the organisation, at many ranges.
“Usually when issues go proper, even private issues between individuals will be managed, however after they go utterly unsuitable and you’re beneath excessive stress from the press, out of your companions and sponsors and also you don’t make the outcomes, simply there shall be some individuals placing the blame on anyone else. And this destroys the group and the group.
“Once I got here again to Ducati this was the scenario somewhat bit, so we needed to let some individuals go on the finish of 2013.”
Valentino Rossi, Ducati
Picture by: Kevin Wooden / LAT
“If I look again at 2013 – if I’m trustworthy – midway by the season I needed to stop.
“We had been going nowhere. Ducati got here out of two non-successful years with Valentino, after which we had [Andrea] Dovizioso and Nicky [Hayden] and nonetheless struggling a lot, the media had been very destructive on us saying we had been going nowhere, which was true to a sure level as a result of we had no clear technical path that yr.
“However fortunately, due to the assist of our CEO Claudio Domenicali, who I do know for over 20 years, I simply spoke overtly to him and stated ‘it is a scenario the place we’re going nowhere, and if it retains like this it’s going to be so destructive for the picture of the corporate’.”
Ciabatti credited bringing in engineering genius Gigi Dall’Igna from Aprilia on the finish of 2013 for starting Ducati’s turnaround.
He added: “I stated we should do one thing and it must be somebody who’s able to managing a technically advanced mission like MotoGP.
“And he [Domenicali] managed to persuade Gigi to depart Aprilia and since then issues went a lot better.
“It was additionally troublesome as a result of Ducati will not be as large because the Japanese, so we should depend on the sponsorship and partnership.
“And at that time it was very troublesome to search out individuals who needed to spend money on Ducati as a result of Valentino they had been actually able to assist with the intention to get the very best protection.
“However we didn’t [succeed], and it was additionally troublesome to rebuild this credibility and you may solely construct it out of outcomes.
“You may promise, however in case you come from a background of non-success [it’s hard to convince people].
“So, it was not simple and in case you take a look at these previous 10 years to be the place we aren’t any is known as a great point.”