Nadia Padovani, the wife of double world champion Fausto Gresini, will take over as the owner and team principal of the Gresini Racing MotoGP team with immediate effect, following Fausto’s tragic death earlier this year.
The 60-year-old succumbed to COVID-19 after spending nearly six weeks in hospital at the beginning of the year, leaving behind wife Nadia and children Lorenzo, Luca, Alice and Agnese.
While there was initially speculation in the MotoGP paddock that the team would potentially (and understandably) not remain in the series following Gresini’s passing, its position has been reaffirmed this morning with a new commitment from the family and a new management structure in which two of his children take over key roles.
Padovani will take over Gresini’s role, acting as both team owner and team principal, while son Lorenzo will join the administrative side of the operation and Luca will take a lead on the sporting direction side, starting at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez.
The family have also renewed their commitment to remaining in the MotoGP class as an independent team in 2022.
Gresini currently runs Aprilia’s works MotoGP team but it was announced last year that this deal would end after this season.
“I would like to think that Fausto’s two families – ours and the racing one – have joined their efforts to bring forward everything he was planning, and especially the MotoGP,” said Padovani.
“To have an independent team in the premier class is surely something very demanding, with a team to be built from scratch, but I know everyone in the company is giving their 110% to make his dream come true.
“Personally, I see it as a real mission, a challenge we will face – also and above all – thanks to the strength of Fausto, who is following us from above.
“We’re currently speaking with several manufacturers and in a matter of a few weeks we will reveal the details of our MotoGP project.”
However, it’s believed that it’s not just a manufacturer that the new team management will have to find, with sponsorship acquisition the more important part of the puzzle.
The budget required to run a satellite team in MotoGP is in the region of €10million per season – significant sum of money to find given that Gresini is currently in a position where Aprilia pays it for its services and it doesn’t have to find sponsorship.