Valentino Rossi to Leave Ducati for Yamaha

August 3, 2012
Adam Waheed
By Adam Waheed
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Valentino Rossi showing some love to his fans at Laguna Seca.
Inside sources in the GP paddock claim, Valentino Rossi, 33, will be riding with the Tuning Fork brand in MotoGP next season. The announcement could come as early as next week.

An inside source close to Motorcycle-USA revealed seven-time MotoGP World Champion and current Ducati MotoGP rider, Valentino Rossi, is close to announcing his imminent return to the factory Yamaha squad for the 2013 MotoGP season.

Originally thought to be a match made in heaven, Rossi, 33, has had a challenging last two seasons with the Bologna, Italy-based Ducati team. To date, it’s been the only machine he hasn’t been able to win on, with best finishes being a third and second at Magny-Cours, France in ’11 and ’12, respectively. This creates a huge dilemma for Ducati as to who should fill Rossi’s vacant seat.

Rossi rode for the Japanese brand for seven years and netted four championships. It’s said the Italian superstar will take a significant pay cut to join the team and will be filling the seat vacated by American rider, Ben Spies. Rossi will once again be teamed with ’10 champ, Jorge Lorenzo, who was a primary factor in his decision to jump ships for two years ago.

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