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Ducati confirms Valentino Rossi's departure at the end of the 2012 season

Valentino RossiDucati has confirmed Valentino Rossi will be leaving the team at the end of the 2012 season, ending weeks of speculation about the Italian's future.

Rossi joined the manufacturer from Yamaha at the start of the 2011 season, in a partnership seen as something of a dream team for the Italians.

However, the Italian rider struggled to be competitive on the Ducati, having failed to win a race and has scored just two podium finishes over the past two seasons.

Rossi is currently in eighth place in the standings and recently admitted he was struggling with his motivation given the bike's performance.

On Friday, Ducati confirmed Rossi, whose contract expires at the end of 2012, will be parting company with the team.

The seven-time champion is believed to be on his way back to Yamaha to partner Jorge Lorenzo again, with an announcement expected later today.

Ducati has Nicky Hayden as its only confirmed rider for the 2013 season.

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