Ducati: No Deal with Valentino Rossi

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Valentino Rossi 2011 Contract News

With the recent rumors circulating about Valentino Rossi reaching an agreement with Ducati for the 2011 MotoGP season, Ducati North America has released an official statement refuting the claims.

The rumors began circulating after Ducati CEO and President Gabriele Del Torchio was quoted on CycleWorld.com as saying the nine-time world champion would be teammates with Nicky Hayden for the 2011 season.

But Ducati denies this, releasing the following statement:

Ducati says: “Regarding the recent allegations attributed to Gabriele Del Torchio – Ducati CEO and President- Ducati states that no agreement has been reached with motorcycle riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden in regards to the 2011 MotoGP season, although our interest in these riders remains.”

“The recent report which has appeared on the US web site CycleWorld.com has been misreported and is attributed to the many rumors circulating as of late.”

“If and when agreements are reached, official press releases will be issued.”

The Italian is expected to officially announce which MotoGP team he chooses after the Czech Grand Prix in Brno April 15.

Rossi, 31, recently returned Grand Prix racing after missing four rounds due to a nasty highside during practice at Mugelllo, Round 4 of the MotoGP Championship. He placed fourth in his return race at Sachsenring.

At the latest round, the USGP at Laguna Seca (Round 9 of 18), Rossi took the final podium spot on his Yamaha M1 behind Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner and race-winner Jorge Lorenzo.

Rossi is currently is in fifth place with 90 points in the championship; his teammate Lorenzo leads with 210 points, and won six out of nine rounds.