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Valentino Rossi to Leave Ducati for Yamaha

Friday, August 3, 2012
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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pooper   January 7, 2013 02:16 PM
im going to go with nobody on this forum has a clue what they are talking about yes there are clauses in the contract but breaking them makes the contract no more meaning he could go to yamaha if thats where he wants to be and go he will and if there are such clauses that have been stated most likely yamaha will buy out the rest of his contract to shut it all up and have rossi back, its also funny that its said he's a 7x champ cuz im pretty sure the guy that painted his helmets in 2009 said he was a 9x champ 7x champ in the primary feature.... Ducati has no idea what they are doing with there bikes when aprila and all the other brands such as buell that never make it in the top 5 are beating you and you are a champion of such caliber like Rossi theres a problem and it aint the rider! if i was him i woulda left Ducati before the season was over idc ill take a buy out dont make much money not winning races
pooper   January 7, 2013 02:06 PM
i laugh at this 7x world champion dude you are a little off im pretty sure its 9x
WingRunner   August 10, 2012 07:17 AM
OK folks, just had to weigh in here.
Ducati is now owned by Audi and has access to all the engineering thereof. Being able to pull enough expertise together to produce a competitive bike is right around the corner (2013?). Nicky has always been the one to get the proper input to the Duc engineers to get HIS bike running as good as it can, current conditions being what they are. How many times this year did Rossi have to "settle" for the set-up that Nicky and his team developed because he just didn't have the right feel for the bike?
With Audi now on-board, Ducati will come around. As for the second rider....well it is silly season after all.
bradvanhorn   August 8, 2012 05:12 AM
Rossi's contract may include a "Biaggi" clause, but such a clause is no guarantee against subtle remarks which are not openly critical but otherwise make it clear there are big problems. From what I have seen reported, Rossi has made only a few such remarks this season when he could have said more. In my opinion he is showing voluntary restraint rather than contractual restraint.

The question about Hayden remaining with Ducati is one I share, but I think the answer likely is as simple as it appears. Ducati was willing to give Hayden a contract and he recognized there really are no other contracts to be had next season. He perhaps could've found a CRT contract but I can't imagine any rider willingly giving up a factory prototype, even the Ducati, to instead ride a CRT.

irksome   August 6, 2012 06:19 PM
Well yeah, probably. But it's not true YET.
overtoyed   August 6, 2012 03:33 PM
Rossi isn't being polite. His contract certainly contains clauses about how many public relations appearances he must make and a clause against making derogatory statements about the manufacturer, all sponsors and the team. It probably also has a pair of golden handcuffs (lip cuffs?) about making negative statements for a certain number of years after leaving and maybe a cash hold back. To me, a better question is why is Nicky staying? Just too much cash to walk away from? I wonder if Stoner's contract requires him to take a year off before going back to Ducati?
motousa_adam   August 6, 2012 12:46 AM
i'm awake! it's true you'll see haha
irksome   August 5, 2012 02:30 PM
Every other news source has retracted this story. I know it's Sunday but it's time to wake Waheed up.
philthy_utah   August 4, 2012 08:52 PM
Not a douche move at all. If you can't get in the top three with Rossi and Burgess, something is wrong with the bike and the decision-makers on the current bike. It's no secret those running the Ducuati MotoGP effort are too stubborn to listen to those who provide valuable input on how to improve the bike. Keep the bikes red and keep the desmo, but you have to make a better bike to be competitive, tradition be damned. The Panigale is a is great example, ditch the traditional dry clutch for better bike. Can't wait to see Rossi and Lorentho on the same team again. We need more excitement. Spies on Suzuki MotoGP 2014! What's he going to do next year though?
Maxx   August 4, 2012 08:27 PM
A welcomed change. After reading articles and listening to sport announcer discuss how slow and reluctant Duc was to changed, I can't say a blame him
luv2spd   August 4, 2012 07:33 PM
This could be tricky for Rossi if the rumors are true. He is lining himself up for another beating by Lorenzo. Yamaha's favorite son is Lorenzo now.
bradvanhorn   August 4, 2012 03:38 PM
Spies said a week or so ago he was leaving Yamaha. I felt sure Rossi would take Spies spot so it looks like I guessed right. The Ducati is not competitive but Rossi has been too polite to be openly critical. Spies leaving Yamaha made it easy for Rossi to leave Ducati. Rossi and Lorenzo didn't get along too well at Yamaha the 1st time so it'll be interesting to see what happens the 2d time.
MotoFreak   August 4, 2012 09:38 AM
Why is Rossi leaving Ducati a douche move?? Ducati isn't cutting it. Rossi is better than 7th and 8th place. Better question is where is Spies going? "Seat vacated by Spies" I don't think he announced he was leaving?
chickin   August 4, 2012 08:27 AM
I do believe a retraction is inorder.
guambra2001   August 3, 2012 09:59 PM
If he does leave Ducati for Yamaha it just shows what kind of a person/rider he really is, someone unable to meet results and blaming other factors instead of himself. What a douche move.