This weekend's Valencia MotoGP season finale will mark the last race in Ducati colours for Livio Suppo, the Italian factory's MotoGP project manager.
Suppo is leaving Ducati to embark on a 'new professional adventure', rumoured to be with a rival MotoGP team (is this picture of Suppo with a Honda employee, taken at Valencia on Thursday, purely a coincidence?).
As well as a potential role at Honda, Jorge Lorenzo's side of the Fiat Yamaha garage is also in need of a new team manager for 2010, following Daniele Romagnoli's decision to step back to a more hands-on role.
Romagnoli is also yet to announce where he is going, although the apparent spilt between Andrea Dovizioso
and Repsol Honda crew chief Pete Benson is his most obvious destination.
Suppo has been with Ducati since 1999 and involved in its MotoGP project from the very beginning, culminating in world championship glory for Casey Stoner
“Livio has meant a great deal to Ducati and also to me personally; he has been a loyal and valuable colleague but above all a great friend,” commented Claudio Domenicali, general director of Ducati.
“We are very sorry that he has decided to leave the company but, in light of his correctness, professionalism and the great contribution he has made to the growth and success of the MotoGP project and the Ducati brand, we can only offer him our very best wishes as he takes on a new professional challenge.”
Suppo's departure had been rumoured (and denied) at the recent Sepang round, where speculation suggested he would be replaced by Vittoriano Guareschi - apparently on the grounds that the factory test rider would be more appealing to Valentino Rossi
ahead of an attempt by Ducati to sign the reigning seven time MotoGP champion for 2011.
Other rumours suggested a fall-out between Suppo and Stoner.
Either way, Domenicali revealed that Guareschi will
have a management role with the team next season, while marketing manager Alessandro Cicognani has also been promoted to fill the void.