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MOTOGP NEWS 

Rossi backs down from Ducati comments

Valentino RossiValentino Rossi has distanced himself from suggestions that he was ready to quit Yamaha's MotoGP team for rival squad Ducati in 2011.

Rossi was quoted by the BBC earlier this week as saying that he was not 100 per cent sure that he wanted to finish his two-wheeled career with Yamaha and that any decision from the team to re-sign Jorge Lorenzo would influence him.

The seven-time world champion has, however, said that his words were wrongly interpreted and that he is more than happy with Yamaha.

"It was a case of journalistic interpretation," Rossi told Gazzetta dello Sport. "Many things will happen in the year ahead of us. We'll have to see what position we're in when it's time to decide.

"It was a long chat [with the BBC], and at one point I was asked what the alternatives could be. So I went by exclusion, and I said Ducati could be an option. I think it's a fairly realistic assessment.

"But I repeat, I feel good at Yamaha and I would like to carry on with them. Do I want to go on with bikes? I said that too: yes. In fact, I will probably be racing after 2010 too. Even more probably with Yamaha.

"I have no influence in the choice of my team-mates. Obviously a manufacturer is happy to have two strong riders. It can be a positive situation for the riders too, who find new motivations in the competition.

"But if we look at 2010 the situation is strange, because Yamaha will field two of the four strongest riders, and a third one too, considering how Ben Spies has been going in this test too. From Yamaha's point of view it's the best thing."

Lorenzo, who has had a different team manager to Rossi all season, and been operating from the opposite side of a partition wall in the garage, said that he would be happy to remain in the same team as Rossi long-term.

"I have no problem with him," said the Spaniard. "I'd prefer to have him as team-mate in order to try to beat him. I don't know what he said, but if he said that, then he is the one with a problem at dealing with me."

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