24 Jan Interview with Ernesto Marinelli, new Product Director and Technical Director of Termignoni
After the official announcement, Ernesto Marinelli begins his new adventure in Termignoni as Product and Technical Director and tells, in a short interview, his expectations and plans for the future.
Q: You worked for more than twenty years in Ducati, it was a long and successful collaboration during which you contributed to the history of Superbike racing. Where does the idea of embarking on a new path in Termignoni come from?
A: First of all from the great relationship I’ve always had with Luigi Termignoni, first, and with Michele and Marco Burnengo, later. But also from many other things: from my passion for exhausts and fluid dynamics, which accompanies me since university and to which I’ve always liked to pay attention, but especially from the desire to be an accomplice in the process of relaunching the company, in its generational change. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to deal with various aspects of the motorcycle world: this new experience will allow me to see even more, to have an even broader vision. Then, being able to organize and manage with further autonomy the team of design and R&D technicians is a great motivation because I believe that only having a tight-knit and compact group you can give your best. This is a very stimulating challenge as well as a great opportunity for growth.
Q: Speaking of people, what are your expectations of the R&D team that you will lead?
A: For me, people have always been at the center of everything. Experience teaches me that teamwork is fundamental for the result, you need everyone’s contribution, so you have to be able to stimulate people’s creativity to get the best from everyone. Certainly communication between people plays a fundamental role. I hope to be able to provide the right stimuli, the ones that will allow the guys to bring out the best in themselves and to achieve their best.
Q: What will you bring of your experience in this new path that will see the birth of many new Termignoni products?
A: Definitely the method you get from racing and the big picture. Racing experience teaches you to simplify complexities by using simple solutions, it teaches you to prioritize and optimize time. It’s a very useful approach to new product development because it allows you to get results by trying to find the right answer at the right time. I also have a passion for exhaust systems, which are a fundamental part of the aesthetics and performance of a motorcycle. The skills given by the experience are important but I also think that in life you never stop learning and surely having a positive attitude and an open mind is essential to do a good job.
Q: The world of motorcycle exhausts has evolved a lot and in recent times has extended to new market segments. How do you think Termignoni positions itself in this scenario?
A: It’s true, it’s a much more difficult market than ten years ago. The supersport segment has shrunk, while the other segments are growing. This is because the variety of demand has increased, so having a wide range of products has become essential. From this point of view Termignoni, with its own range, already responds to different needs. But we will focus on this front, aiming to strengthen existing partnerships and establish new ones, to expand the variety of the offer both in applications required by the houses but also in the free aftermarket.
Q: Speaking of competition, what do you think is Termignoni’s biggest competitor?
A: I believe that today the competition is very close. There are very strong competitors on the industrial level and others very concentrated on specific sectors. I think Termignoni continues to be a reference that makes of Italian craftsmanship and creativity its strengths. Made in Italy and design must continue to be our strength, together with the speed with which we launch new products. The development of new technologies and materials must be an important reference to remain a leader in this sector.
Q: Any anticipation on the near future: which will be the first projects you will be working on?
A: We have an already full list of new products to create, the new V4 of Borgo Panigale will require a very special design, we want to grow in the range dedicated to BMW and another area on which we will push is the slip on segment that represents an important entry level for the range. I would also like to create a customization option so that each bike can have a personalized product based on the model and the needs of the customer/rider. In reality, there are many ideas and we can’t wait to start developing them, but we will proceed step by step because the satisfaction of our customers requires concentration.
Q: Speaking of goals, how do you imagine Termignoni to be in 5 years?
A: I expect a company that grows but remains flexible and versatile, able to respond to changes in the market and the needs of its customers quickly and accurately, a characteristic in which Termignoni is already a protagonist. If I had to make a comparison, I would say that Termignoni among its competitors must not become a difficult ship to govern in a sea full of obstacles but remain an agile and fast boat that knows how to change course and speed when necessary. It’s a young and dynamic company so I expect it to maintain this ability to be flexible. Our production must not be mass-produced but maintain the artisan care typical of those who aim at quality before quantity. We must invest in technology and research into new materials to always guarantee excellence, but without ever betraying the artisan nature that characterizes it. After all, this is Termignoni’s strength: the craftsmanship made possible by the people in whom the company has always believed and invested.