Arguably the most recognized name in all of motorcycle racing, Valentino Rossi is expected to make the “big” announcement this coming weekend following the Czech Republic Grand Prix in Brno, Round 10 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship.
The nine-time World Champion is expected to announce which team he’ll be riding for next season, heavily rumored to be Ducati. The Italian’s statement will arrive a week after claims from a reputable source saturated the moto-journalism world, which stated the Ducati/Rossi relationship was already solidified.
These claims came after a CycleWorld.com story quoted Ducati CEO and President Gabriele Del Torchio as saying Rossi would be teammates with Nicky Hayden for the 2011 season.
But hours later, the quotes CycleWorld.com were quickly refuted by Ducati, a press release given to all media stating: “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.”
There are even many pictures circulating on a few websites displaying pictures of a Ducati with the No. 46 on it.
But fans of MotoGP will have to wait until after the GP in Brno on Aug. 15, when Rossi will make his announcement about his 2011 MotoGP contract; his current contract with Fiat Yamaha expires this year.
The race at Brno will be the third since Rossi made his return from an injurious state. The 31-year old wrecked during practice at Round 4 in Mugello, fracturing his right leg. He would miss Mugello, Silverstone, Assen and Catalunya, but make a surprise return for the Germany GP in Sachsenring, where the wounded rider placed fourth.
Rossi took third in the next round, the USGP at Laguna Seca, joining the podium with Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner and his teammate/race winner Jorge Lorenzo, who currently leads the championship with 210 points. Rossi is currently in fifth in the championship, with 90 points.
The riders return to competition at Brno after a two and a half week holiday, which provided Rossi with additional time to work on fitness. The Czech Republic marks the start of the second-half of the season. Mathematically, a tenth world title is possible, but with many obstacles, the biggest being his teammate Lorenzo.