Ducati’s Rossi: Audi is ‘Counting on Me’

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MotoGP VR46 News

Following the Germany Grand Prix last weekend, the chairman of Audi AG, Rupert Stadler, sat down with Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi, discussing the car maker’s plans to back the Ducati Team in the coming MotoGP seasons.

Rossi says Audi, which purchased the Italian manufacture from the private equity firm Investindustrial in April, wants to help Ducati regain its “competitive edge” in MotoGP.

In an interview with MotoGP Italian broadcaster RTI, Valentino Rossi said “I spoke directly with the boss of Audi and they have a strong intent about supporting Ducati in the future to regain its competitive edge. It’s a very ambitious project and I’m happy about it. And they’re counting on me.”

This also hinted at Rossi’s position following this season when his two-year contract with Ducati expires. With words like that, the 33-year-old Rossi will likely extend his contract with Ducati.

Although clearly struggling on the Ducati GP12, Rossi says the team doesn’t have to “scrap” its current machine and build a new bike, but rather gradually build upon the performance of the GP12.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team GP12 MotoGP) says: “It’s much more clever to try and improve gradually the bike we have at the moment, because starting from scratch would mean spending too much time on setting up a new machine. We have to focus on the positives of our bike and improve on the negatives: me and my crew gave some clear indications over the past few months and we need to work in this direction.”

At Sachsenring, Rossi had his best finish under dry conditions aboard the Ducati GP12 – sixth. Since joining Ducati last season (2011), Rossi’s best finish was second at a rain-soaked Le Mans this year.