Italian press report the offer tabled to Valentino Rossi includes a two year factory stint to the MotoGP factory team, followed by a move to World Superbikes to aid their move into that championship.
Popular Italian Sports publication Gazetta Dello Sport reports that Yamaha have offered Valentino Rossi a MotoGP contract for two years, followed by a switch to World Superbikes in 2015. Yamaha have been planning a return to World Superbikes and the article proposes that Rossi would go on to a transitional role as technical developer and rider of the new WSBK bike after completing another stint as Jorge Lorenzo’s Team mate in MotoGP.
The Italian’s current team, Ducati, have asked for confirmation of the MotoGP stars plans by Indianapolis as so much of their future plans, from who will partner Nicky Hayden to the start of moving on the proposal for a satellite team, which Moto2 riders Andrea Iannone and Scott Redding have tested for this week, all depend on his decision.
Keeping his choices open is also irking fellow countryman Andrea Dovizioso who feels hung out to dry by Yamaha as until the Rossi issue arose he thought he had a fighting chance of a factory seat, an option he had lost at Honda prompting his move to the Yamaha Tech3 team to open up the opportunity with a new maunfacturer.
While Rossi wasn’t able to work his magic on the Ducati and make it more generally rideable ,’ fix’ doesn’t seem appropriate when Casey Stoner could wring it’s neck, juddering over the line for a win, he can instead look at a different set of achievements if he moves away from the Italian rider/Italian bike and winning MotoGP on three differnet manufacturers ideal, the Yamaha proposal would offer him the chance to be the only man in history to win 125cc, 250cc, 500cc, MotoGp and then possibly win WSBK.
Rossi has already aquainted himself with a Yamaha Superbike, he used one in the private test to help after the recovery of his fractured leg in 2010 at Mugello. when talking on his future Superbikes along with rallying is often mentioned by ‘The Doctor’ himself as an area he sees as a future option. He also won the Suzuka 8 hours on a Honda Superbike with Colin Edwards in 2001.
Yamaha have not won the Superbike title since 2009, when Ben Spies took the championship and then moved over to MotoGP.
After his tumble at Laguna Seca, he spoke to Italian broadcaster Sportmediaset about the offer Ducati had put on the table for him, cutting down rumours they had offered him extreme amounts of cash to stay and try to make the Ducati a winning machine again:
“Actually, Ducati has lowered their offer, the money is a lot less, but fortunately for me it isn’t important in deciding what will be my future. They told me that a lot of things will change now that there is Audi, and there is some great motivation, but to stay with Ducati is a bit of a gamble.”
Yamaha seems to be the best deal for Rossi to finish his career on a positive note and hopefully get back to the winning ways which his fans tune in for and keep the global interest in the sport up ( and the viewing figures looking good for Dorna!) Failing to change the Ducati isn’t necessarily the big failure his detractors will angle for, the bike was a winner for Stoner, so can be again, but Stoner bolted and bucked around on the red machine while his cries for change were never answered, Rossi has already stated he finds it hard to ride around problems and prefers to make changes to the bike as opposed to altering his riding style. Ducati have the perfect development rider in Nicky Hayden, a former world champion who with Rossi has already made the Desmosedici into a bike they can both do equally well on, and as he is more confident with the front end problems, he looks to be the man to use Audi’s money to good effect as if necessary he can sling it around like a dirt bike.
Read the original Gazzetta Dello Sport article here (in Italian):
image courtesy of Andrew Napier and used under Creative Commons, go find him on Flickr!