Now that it’s official that Valentino Rossi has signed a two-year contract with the Ducati Team beginning next year, the Italian is hoping to take his first official ride on a Desosedici during the testing following the final MotoGP round in Valencia.
But one obstacle may be in the way – his current Fiat Yamaha team.
Contractually, Rossi is tied to Fiat Yamaha until January 1–a bit after the season officially ends–so he may have to test on the Yamaha M1 for the final three-day test at Valencia following the final round.
So far, Ducati is hoping Rossi will be able to jump right on a GP10 machine and start testing, but it all depends on what happens at Yamaha. Rossi expressed his opinions to the Gazzetta Dello Sport, the Italian Sports Newspaper.
Valentino Rossi says: “If I don’t have permission to try the Desmosedici in Valencia, I will be very disappointed. It would mean that I have never understood my relationship with Yamaha.”
“In the past, only Honda didn’t allow me to try the new bike, although my relationship with the Japanese team was very different. If I can’t try the Ducati in Valencia, I will be very disappointed.”
In the same Italian report, even Rossi’s father, Graziano, commented on the 31-year-old’s decision to sign with Ducati.
Graziano Rossi says: “It’s a fantastic challenge, an intriguing relationship and a team with a huge potential. One of their technical lads just last year or two years ago created a bike that was the fastest one in a straight. Now they get a rider with a great ability to be in top form and who is a long-time friend of Filippo Preziosi (General Manager of Ducati Corse).”
“This friendship is unusual in the world of sports and all of this combined can lead to great results. I think Valentino has been thinking about this for at least 3 or 4 years. When he went to Yamaha, things had not matured and everyone had a different way to do things. However, I think that thanks to this friendship, both roads have become a bit closer. When it was clear that Yamaha wasn’t the ideal place anymore, they had no problems to end up together.”
Rossi made his announcement about the switch to Ducati after the Czech Republic Grand Prix in Brno this past Sunday. Rossi, who recently returned to MotoGP after missing four round due to breaking his leg at Mugello, took fifth at Brno.
Since joining Fiat Yamaha in 2004, VR 46 has won four championships.
Valentino Rossi says: “It is very difficult to explain in just a few words what my relationship with Yamaha has been in these past seven years. Many things have changed since that far-off time in 2004, but especially ‘she’, my M1, has changed.”
From a simple study of Rossi’s past work with his racing teams, many are sure that he’ll have this same affection for the Ducati GP10 as he does for the M1, and also help develop the Ducati into a championship-devouring machine.