After weeks of speculation, Valentino Rossi reported that he was given permission to test with Ducati in Valencia next month after the 2010 MotoGP Championship wraps up at that same venue.
Rossi said the Executive Officer of Engineering Operations at Yamaha, Masao Furusawa, has given the nine-time champion permission to test with Ducati, the MotoGP team Rossi signed with for 2011.
Rossi, whose contract with Fiat Yamaha expires at the end of 2010, even after this year’s championship is completed, told the Italian MotoGP broadcaster Italia 1 about the clearance to test the Ducati Desmosedici GP10.
Valentino Rossi says: “Furusawa called me and told me it was a way of saying thanks for what I have done for Yamaha. I think it’s a nice gesture and it shows that Yamaha has valued the things done over these years.”
After heaing the news, MotoGP Project Manager for Ducati Alessandro Cicognani spoke to motogp.com in an interview.
Allessandro Cicognani says: “I haven’t heard what Rossi or Yamaha have said exactly, but I was told about this so I am really happy. I think in a way it’s like a present from Yamaha to Valentino after what he has done for them.”
“We can be happy with this and I would like to thank, in a way, Yamaha. I have good relations with Lin Jarvis and I take this chance to thank him because he has always been fair and open to discussion. It’s not easy and it’s great. So we will work now and finish the season, and then start again for 2011 just after the Valencia race.”
“I think for everybody that this test is important because, due to the testing restrictions, I think it’s fair that every rider has the chance to test the bike he is going to ride the following year. So for everybody it would be important. He will test the 2011 bike for sure, and we will see. We are working on it!”
This news arrived after Rossi took third at the Iveco Australian MotoGP on Sunday, finishing behind race winner Casey Stoner and his current teammate and 2010 MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo.
VR 46 battled for third with his future teammate Nicky Hayden. The 31-year-old Italian overtook Hayden on the last lap, taking his eight podium of the season.
The 2010 MotoGP season continues at Estoril for the Portuguese Grand Prix Oct. 31, the penultimate round before Valencia.