Ernesto Marinelli has praised the Ducati Xerox team for their 'professionalism, ability and co-ordination' over many successful years as their relationship came to an emotional conclusion at Magny-Cours.
Ducati announced in August that it would withdraw as a factory entry at the end of the 2010 season, a shock revelation that sees the most successful manufacturer turn its back on the a championship it has won on 16 occasions.
While the 2010 season hasn't been a memorable one for Ducati Xerox, particularly with privateer racer Carlos Checa finishing ahead of both Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio in the final standings, the concluding event was significant nonetheless.
With a visibly upset Fabrizio scoring one last podium – on the final lap of race two – for the team, Marinelli – who took over from Davide Tardozzi in 2010 – paid particular tribute to those behind the scenes.
“It has been a very special weekend and race day,” he said. “In race two I saw in Michel a determination that made me truly proud, proud not just of him but of the entire team, a unique group of people with whom I have had the honour to work for all these years.
“To change a frame like they did this morning in 45 minutes or to repair a bike in under 30, is an achievement that can only be accomplished by extraordinary people, thanks to their professionalism, ability and coordination. The biggest thanks therefore goes to them, “thanks guys”.
“Thanks also to Daniele Casolari and Feel Racing that has helped us along this journey full of successes, to Xerox for the six wonderful years of partnership, to Valsir, Shell, TIM and all the other sponsors that have supported us.”
Over the last 22 years of competition, Ducati has amassed 16 manufacturers' titles, 13 riders' titles and a total of 718 podiums, 291 of which race wins.