Motorcycle Racing News Rossi Back to Yamaha MotoGP? Then World SBK?

Rossi Back to Yamaha MotoGP? Then World SBK?

Valentino Rossi Contract News

The rumors continue to ruminate about the whereabouts of Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi in 2013 MotoGP. The latest talk says the nine-time World Champion will officially announce his decision to join Yamaha Factory Racing on Aug. 15, just ahead of Indy MotoGP.

Sources close to UltimateMotorCycling.com say the rumors are Rossi will sign a two-year contract with the factory Yamaha team for around $10 million. These sources also say after his two years are complete with Yamaha in MotoGP, Rossi will join World Superbike in 2015 aboard the newest Yamaha YZF-R1, Rossi allegedly hoping to become a champion of all classes before he calls it quit.

If the Italian joins Yamaha, he will be filling the American Ben Spies’ vacant seat on the YZR-M1, the bike Rossi helped develop throughout his seven-year tenure with factory Yamaha in the premier class. During that time, Rossi amassed 46 wins and four titles. Conversely, in the past two years with Ducati, Rossi only made it to the podium twice – third at a wet Le Mans in 2011, and second at a wet Le Mans this season.

As for money, various European reports say the Audi AG-owned Ducati offered Rossi a two-year contract upwards of $40 million to continue on the GP12, though if the rumors are true, Yamaha’s offering is much lower.

Plus, there is talk that Yamaha won’t pay the high-price allegedly wanted by Rossi’s crew chief, Jeremy Burgess. But Rossi will likely do whatever it takes to bring Burgess aboard.

And if the rumors are true, Rossi will return with his former rival Jorge Lorenzo, who in reports said Rossi needs to be back on a “competitive bike.”

This is by far the largest story currently in MotoGP, which helps create a skyline of rumors, though some get busted. This happened over the weekend when a rumor was put to rest regarding former 500cc MotoGP rider Niall Mackenzie’s account of seeing Rossi at Yamaha Motor Europe headquarters, and tweeting about it.

But hours later, it was reported that Mackenzie’s Twitter account was hacked, and Rossi’s appearance at Yamaha HQ was a hoax.

And now arrives these newest rumors. But the good news is Rossi will make his official announcement before Indy MotoGP. And if it is on Aug. 15, the MotoGP world will just have to be patient for one more week…

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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