Meet the new boss at Ducati UK
Ducati UK has a new man in charge. Long-serving MD Tim Maccabee left the company earlier this year for pastures new and his replacement is Fabrizio Cazzoli, a veteran Ducati employee from Bologna. Cazzoli comes to the UK straight from a long stint in the Far East, setting up Ducati China and looking after Ducati Japan. We grabbed a quick chat with him at the firm’s Silverstone HQ, and asked what he had planned for the firm’s UK outfit.
The first question is how he got here – and it turns out he’s a Bologna man through and through. “I joined Ducati back in 1997, in the operations department at the factory. Next, I went to Japan to be the country manager there in 2004. Then, after four years I had an opportunity to change, and worked for Maserati to set up Maserati Japan. I remained there for 10 years and then came back to the ‘family’, with Ducati in China. I am made in Bologna, like Ducati! I’ve always worked for companies from there; Ducati is from Bologna and Maserati is now based in Modena, but it was established in Bologna.”
Now, though, Cazzoli is back in Europe, heading up the UK operation from Silverstone. “I thought, after 18 years in Asia, it was about time to come back to Europe.”
It’s been a bit of a culture shock, of course. “China is very different for almost everything, including the culture for motorcycling. Riding here in the UK is beautiful because of the roads and the atmosphere, and you can go where you want. In China it’s banned almost everywhere, because the state controls your behaviour and motorcycling is a ‘weird’ thing.”
Cazzoli is also impressed by our obsession with performance in the UK. “Some models are in extremely high demand here, like the Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak – that is very much a UK bike, and sportsbikes are still very strong in the UK. Our Ducati track days immediately sold out. We should do more, and we will do more.”
The new Ducati boss also reckons the UK track riding scene is just immense. “What I like here is the quality of the sport segment. People go fast! My colleagues keep inviting me to a trackday and I have done trackdays before, but I am scared to do it here because I’m afraid I’ll be mowed down!”
The great British passion for going nuts on sportsbikes is right up Ducati’s street, of course, and the new UK boss is keen to support that passion to the hilt. The firm is set to expand its trackday operation at Silverstone and Donington, and is also looking to bring over the Ducati Riding Experience (DRE) training academy to Northamptonshire – complete with big-name race instructors. The academy has been a massive hit in Italy over the years, with top Ducati racers and test riders turning up to tracks like Mugello and Misano for high-end training sessions. “The agreement with Silverstone is a partnership for the long term and together with Silverstone, we have a lot of ideas. Some are new, some are not new, but we will bring them here, like the DRE Racetrack Academy. We are in the temple of motorsport here – it’s a no-brainer!”