Rossi threatens 2011 Ducati switch

Valentino Rossi has warned Yamaha that it must choose between him and Jorge Lorenzo in 2011 - and that he is willing to leave for Ducati if the Spaniard is retained

Rossi threatens 2011 Ducati switch

The world champion had already hinted that he was unhappy that Yamaha was trying to balance two number one riders, and although rumours of a 2010 team switch have been dismissed, Rossi has now confirmed that he has a Ducati offer on the table and that he will accept if Yamaha chooses Lorenzo over him.

When asked by BBC Sport if he still wanted to finish his career with Yamaha, Rossi replied: "I'm not 100 per cent sure, it depends what happens next year. It depends on my performance, and the decision of Yamaha for 2011. I think Yamaha has to decide between me and Jorge for 2011."

Rossi admitted that he was tempted by the prospect of riding for an Italian team, but insisted he would prefer to remain with Yamaha - and that he had made no firm decisions yet.

"It's early to say, and I have a great option with Ducati - to change bikes and try to win with an Italian bike," he said.

"For sure it's a great motivation, but at this moment I'd prefer to stay with Yamaha because I think the relationship between me and Yamaha is something special, and to change bike would be like something unfaithful.

"So I think for Yamaha I think it's very important that I finish my career with Yamaha, and also it's important for me."

Despite not wanting to Lorenzo to remain his team-mate, Rossi said he enjoyed racing with the Spaniard, having fought with him for the title this year.

"I like Jorge's approach to racing, because he likes the battle," said the seven times MotoGP champion. "He tries to the maximum, he battles, he's aggressive, but not too much, and that's so important."

Rossi joined Yamaha from Honda in 2004, and stunned the motorcycling world by taking the hitherto struggling company to the world championship at the first attempt. He has since won a further three titles.

Although Rossi was a clear number one when paired with Carlos Checa in 2004 and Colin Edwards from 2005 to 2007, the arrival of double 250cc champion Lorenzo last year provided a much stronger challenge, with Yamaha indicating that it regarded the Spaniard as its future title hope once Rossi retires.

Lorenzo's rookie season was hampered by a series of massive crashes, but this year he was able to push Rossi for the title until the penultimate round.

shares
comments
Elias wants quick return
Previous article

Elias wants quick return

Next article

Stoner tops first day of Valencia test

Stoner tops first day of Valencia test
Load comments
The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano Plus

The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Plus

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Autosport pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021
Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha on his road to the MotoGP title Plus

Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha on his road to the MotoGP title

Fabio Quartararo has his first match point in the 2021 MotoGP title race this weekend at Misano. While the 2021 Yamaha is a much-improved bike to its inconsistent predecessor, its the rider himself who has shown the biggest evolution this season. Oriol Puigdemont delves into Quartararo's growth.

MotoGP
Oct 19, 2021
How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda Plus

How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda

There once was a time when Honda controlled any young rider who emerged in motorcycling, but its market dominance has now swung to the side of MotoGP rival KTM and, to a lesser extent Ducati. Could this development have significant ramifications for the future?

MotoGP
Oct 12, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Plus

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream” Plus

The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream”

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Plus

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Plus

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021