Casey Stoner believes Livio Suppo's move to Honda will be a big loss for Ducati and paid tribute to his team boss.
Suppo, Ducati's MotoGP project manager since the beginning of the Italian manufacturer's campaign in 1999, will leave the team after this weekend's race at Valencia and join the factory Honda squad.
Stoner has worked with Suppo since he joined Ducati in 2007 and won the title in his first year with the team.
"Livio has been a big part of not only my success but of the whole success of Ducati," said Stoner. "He's been there from the start of the MotoGP program and has done a fantastic job.
"I've had an excellent relationship with Livio, a lot of people tried to push us apart while I was away in Australia, nobody understood what was happening, but Livio was there for me the whole time. We were in regular contact, he was making sure everything was going well and seeing what he could do for me.
"It's going to be a big loss to the team and I wish him well in his future dealings, but it would have been nice to see out my career at Ducati with him."