The rumours of the FIAT empire taking title sponsorship of the works Yamaha team in MotoGP are now beyond rumours; we are just awaiting the announcement and colour scheme to be revealed. If Fiat were waiting for Valentino Rossi to sign for a further year with Yamaha - which he has - then surely Fiat can sign 'him' up, and that's what we've got.
The reasons for a car manufacturer sponsoring one of the leading MotoGP teams is not as bizarre as one may think.
The Italian car giant has always been interested in Rossi, ever since his first drive in a Ferrari F1 car at Fiorano back in early 2004, which culminated in a structured programme of testing through to the end of 2005. Rossi also tested a Maserati MC12 sportscar and a Fiat Punto Super 2000 rally car.
Fiat may well be in need of another superstar, now that Michael Schumacher has retired from racing. The pull of Rossi in Italy should not be underestimated - even compared to Schumacher's dominance in F1.
Winner of the 2004 British Grand Prix, Valentino Rossi © Reuters
People are fans of Valentino because he is the happy-go-lucky, goofy-looking kid that lives next door but who's taken on and beaten the world. Seven times. No tabloid magazine scandals of kiss-and-tell girls in nightclubs, just unbridled openness, of winning and celebrating with his mates from down the local cafe in Tavullia. Cooling down lap hoolying dressed up as chickens, the Angel Gabriel, Municipale Police or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs have been but a few.
As much as Schumacher was an incredible driver, would he have grabbed the hearts of the Italians if he was driving a Williams or a McLaren for eleven years? Likely, not.
Fiat has latched on to a hero to further boost its sales. It is just the simple sponsorship of 'you've got something that I want, and I've got a pot of money that you want'. Fiat in the UK, at least, was the fastest growing automotive brand, with annual sales of 58,831 units - up by over 64% year-on-year - in a market down by 3.9% over the same period. If Rossi was to be tagged along with the brand, then many young single people may well be swung towards buying a new Punto than a VW Polo or a Renault Clio.
Fiat is attacking the young market. The company has even bought out and fully branded Ski Cafes and restaurants in Italy, hitting right at the heart of the snowboarding, skateboarding, extreme sports market. It sponsors a freestyle ski team, too, together with skateboarders and windsurfers.
Perhaps the indicative link is its sponsorship of Alvaro dal Farra, the freestyle motocrosser, and that the Fiat logo is blue letters out of white - one of Yamaha's best selling colour schemes with the R1 and R6.
No. 46 will be the ultimate hit that many may have tried to get, but missed out on. Red Bull and Marlboro must be a couple of companies who've got an emergency fund tucked away just in case he says yes!
Further from the association of sponsorship, Rossi has just turned 28 years old and got many a car race in him for the Fiat empire, whatever car he may drive. What he won't be driving is a Ferrari F1 car.
Although he was quick in an F1 car at Fiorano and Valencia, these are relatively slow-speed circuits - and although the lap times from those circuits indicated he was not a million miles away, he was still driving a 3-litre V10, not a 2.4 V8.
Crucially, we never received lap times from Mugello, when he was driving there. Rumours from journalists leaning over the fence suggested Rossi was five seconds off the pace. What would he be like at Silverstone, flat from Luffield, through Woodcote, deep breath for Copse, up the hill to Maggots, and only then flip it down for Maggots?
Valentino Rossi drives a Subaru Impreza in the 2006 Rally New Zealand © Reuters
And would he put up with the PR and schedules of the ever corporatised F1 paddock? "He pushed our movement schedule to the limit!" said a member of the Subaru World Rally team after Rossi's foray in Rally New Zealand last November.
Personally, when the sad day comes and he has to leave MotoGP, I believe Rossi will be well lined up to go and win the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Maserati, or drive in the World Rally Championship.
Rallying is closer to his heart, as seen by him driving in New Zealand last November. To bag tenth that weekend was pretty impressive for a car that even former champion Petter Solberg has struggled with, and which team boss David Richards recently described as "a mongrel". Rumour has it Fiat may have paid for that as an intro... Stranger things have happened.
Rossi might of course just disappear off to Ibiza and enjoy life in bed, the pool or on the boat; I can't really see him doing something just because he needs the money.
Graziano, his father, still comes to most of the European races by car, as he refuses to fly. Once there, he sleeps in the back of his 5-series estate, seats down, before emerging to walk across the paddock in his dressing gown toward the showers when the 125s wake him up.
Like Father like Son?