Italian press say Rossi to Yamaha

Two year MotoGP project followed by a return with Yamaha to WSB

Posted: 2 August 2012
by Visordown News

Rossi ... happier times at Yamaha

Now confirmed: Valentino Rossi to Yamaha MotoGP in 2013

YAMAHA have offered Valentino Rossi a two-year MotoGP contract followed by a WSB ride in 2015 according to Italian newspaper, Gazzetta dello Sport.

Yamaha are planning a return to World Superbikes in 2014 where Rossi would play the role technical developer and then rider of the new bike.

While Rossi hasn't been able to fix Ducati's troubled MotoGP project, a World Superbike championship would galvanize Rossi's legendary status as the only rider to win at 125, 250, 500 and MotoGP and make the crossover to SBK.

Rossi has already tested the Yamaha Factory Superbike in the summer of 2010 to get some practice in after a serious fracture in his right leg in Mugello. He spent half a day on the bike and allegedly equalled the circuit record and solving a problem Cal Crutchlow had been struggling with.

A straw-poll of MotoGP journalists showed that most believed Rossi would make the switch back to Yamaha in MotoGP but believed that Rossi should tay at Ducati to finish what he started.

Gazzetta's article adds credibility to the rumours that Rossi will be leaving Ducati at the end of the season.

Former Yamaha GP rider, Niall Mackenzie tweeted: Done deal! A well known Italian will definitely be on a blue bike next year, woo hoo!

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Discuss this story

So then, that's that pretty much. Cheers Vale, made me look like a knob. AGAIN.

Posted: 02/08/2012 at 19:41

Poor Ducati, Poor Poor Ducati lol

Posted: 02/08/2012 at 19:59

"YAMAHA have offered" doesn't mean Valentino has accepted; I'll wait to hear it from his lips. I do hope this is true though, a stint in World Superbike is icing on the cake.

Posted: 02/08/2012 at 21:32

So let me get this straight... Rossi couldn't handle having Lorenzo as a teammate that challenged his "supremacy"... and basically gave Yamaha a "me or him" ultimatum... and lost...

So now that Lorenzo is clearly the better rider... Rossi will be the #2 rider at Yamaha??

Yeah, makes total sense...

Posted: 02/08/2012 at 21:32

Can't see him leaving myself - would be a bit of a blot on his copybook and let's face it, if he sticks around Bologna for another year he can have his own Ducati WSBK team in 2014.

Moving back to Yamaha would be sticky - he's unlikely to get the same support as Lorenzo and the chances of them taking each other out at each race would surely be on Japanese minds.

Posted: 02/08/2012 at 22:04

Yamaha needs the money that Rossi brings. I think it will happen.

Posted: 02/08/2012 at 23:55

These rumours are always true. remember the stoner one recently. He's at yamaha. Of course, Vale wants to have fun, theres no other reason he would be there, its only his passion to ride fast motorbikes that keeps him there, he has no reason to stay at ducati, I dont think he could care about a duc superbike really in 2014 to waste next year again. This is great news as far as im concerned. He'll cop some shit in italy with all that nationalist bullshit,

but most people really want to see him mixing it up, not running around in 9th alone, what a waste of talent.

Posted: 02/08/2012 at 23:57

yep, its all about money for yamaha, rossi brings it, shitloads, and they aint got a sponsor at the moment. But its wins all round.

Posted: 02/08/2012 at 23:59

I don't really see any reason for him to stay at ducati. He will have had 2 years to sort the bike. It hasn't worked for whatever reason and he doesn't have anything to prove despite what people say. Get him back on a competetive bike for the last few years of his career in GP.

Lorenzo is a clever guy and i bet hes secretly desparate to have vale back in the team, just for the fact that both of those guys developing and progressing the m1 will be a serious force as we saw a few years ago.

As for ducati being a 'blot on his copybook'... i really don't think so. Look at all the people who have tried and failed with the pile of crap desmo. There is only one person who made it work for a short while.

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 04:07

From everything I'm hearing and reading this is already a done deal. I have to say, I never thought it'd happen, but I'm glad it is, because I for one am sick to the back fucking teeth of talking about that poxy bloody Duke.

Onwards and upwards FORZA VALE!!!


Posted: 03/08/2012 at 08:35

If he does move, that's a lot of ugly red/yellow #46 merchandise left languishing in Italian warehouses!

My prediction if he moved - a career ending injury sustained battling against Lorenzo, means he retires without another world championship and isn't fit enough to compete in WSBK with the time he has left. Remember, you read it here first! ;-)

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 08:51

its a massive shame that ducati cannot resolve the problems with there bike . it would have been fantastic for rossi to win on an italion bike . i wish valentino all the best on his return to yamaha i think he is still the most talented rider ive ever seen good luck to him

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 08:54

@mobus - it's true there have been many riders who tried and failed to ride the Desmo, but there aren't many who - along with their crew - have been brought in _specifically_ to solve the problems of rideability and make the bike competitive. And there have been even fewer paid north of 15 million Euros to do it! Face it, after changes to an alu beam frame and this and various other attempts to re-create a Yamaha, they are slower than last year at many tracks and slower than Stoner was two years ago on the "unrideable" bike!

The myth was that Rossi was a great development rider and that he and Burgess could turn an uncompetitive bike around (see Yamaha for details). Leaving now will utterly destroy that myth. It appears Rossi/Burgess just inherited an M1 that was already "on the turn". Or that's what the history books will show... that and the fact they probably should have hired Troy Bayliss to work alongside Stoner to get the bike sorted, plus stick around until the job was finished.

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 08:59

Slowin, you can only be a good development rider if you get the parts to develop. Ducati Corse have been told what the problems are, they simply don't wanna hear it.

The M1 was "on the turn, and the history books will reflect this". Can you please clarify this. AFAIK Carlos Checa essentially refused to ride the M1 because it was essentially a dangerous thing to ride on his last season there. Furusawa said to JB and crew, what do you want, after testing, they were told, they went away built it and it started to come good.

There's gonna be lots and lots of coulda woulda shoulda over the next few months, but the way I see it. Ducati didn't listen to VR and VR I think underestimated the job at hand (even if a little bit).

Anyway. M1 :)

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 09:48

better than being number 2 to nicky hayden i would suppose

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 10:25

Come now Kenneth, surely one knows Vale's washed up and is only walking away because he can't do it anymore!!! And to hell with any historical fact or proof that says otherwise.

Surely one realises that if he's only getting about 40% of the parts he's asked for to DO the job in hand that's enough!! I tell ya what, any of these boys hating on here would have had that Duke turning quicker than a tiger tied to a post MONTHS ago.

And to think any different is simply witch craft.

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 10:48

Will enjoy seeing Rossi win again

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 11:53

my take: if rossi and lorenzo team up again... who is goin to be able to challenge these two? is every race goin to end up in battle between 99 and 46?

yes theres dani (whose been consistant this season), but is he enough to challange these two? marquez will (i assume) take time to gain the experience needed to challenge for winning positions.

scrap the crts, get more factories in here, suzuki, kawasaki, BMW! and get the best possible riders... surely we dont want to see motogp die out and by what some of you are saying here, its slowly becoming a realization...

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 15:12

He might be No.2 but not in his mind, he will believe he can beat Lorrenzo, and who knows maybe he can, why stay at Ducati, zero reason, it was a shit bike last year, shit bike this year and shit bike next year, even as a No.2 he has a chance of winning something instead of thrashing around at the back of the factory teams.

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 16:32

Slow In is absolutely correct. The myth that Rossi is a great development rider is exactly that - a MYTH perpetuated by Rossi. Remember, the Yamaha was fast from Rossi's first time out on the bike, winning its first race. Was Rossi such an amazing development rider that he turned the bike from a lump of coal to a diamond just in practice before the first race? Yamaha was already changing the bike before Rossi ever touched it.

While solid input from riders is necessary to development, its the engineers that make great bikes, not riders. The best the rider can do is come back and say "I get chatter trail braking into 3" "It's twitchy coming out of the sweepers" etc. The engineers figure out how to solve the problems. Rossi never designed a single part on the bike.

Rossi made the mistake of believing his own hype. He got butt-hurt when he realized Lorenzo was better than him. He threw a spoiled brat's temper tantrum and stormed off to Ducati.

Now he realizes his glory days are gone and he's desperate. He's crawling back to Yamaha, grateful to be Lorenzo's water boy. Yamaha will accept him because this is a business first and a sport second. Lorenzo's many worldwide fans mean money even though they are in denial about Rossi being washed up. I doubt Rossi will ever win another dry race and certainly will never win another MotGP championship. Hayden has proved himself to be better than Rossi.

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 17:59

"the Yamaha was fast from Rossi's first time out on the bike, winning its first race. Was Rossi such an amazing development rider that he turned the bike from a lump of coal to a diamond just in practice before the first race?"

I don't mean to start an argument but really? You think the first time he took the bike out was for FP1? No, he looked at a number of different bikes prior to that, and JB advised on Chassis/Swingarm and Forks. The BIGGEST difference, is that Furusawa, the father of the M1 actually LISTENED and made changes inline with the requests from the raceteam.

This is something Ducati have been completely unwilling to do, they might have changed several components, but it still understeers, it's still to aggressive on rear tyres, and it still needs to be driven on the rear wheel, all the things Vale - and any other World Champion Level rider doesn't want...

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 18:17

I'm referring to testing and practice as practice. Riders aren't allowed to ride their new competitors bikes until at least October after the last race. Rossi didn't change that much in a few months with very strictly limited test days allowed by MotoGP regulations before the first race. I'm not SURE, but I think Honda may have even forced Rossi to adhere to the strict letter of his contract and wouldn't let him test they Yamaha until January when his Honda contract officially expired.

Of course debate is pointless. If I'm right, the new 1000 M1 will only be slightly better in 2013 and Rossi won't be a serious contender for the championship next season. If I'm wrong, Rossi will substantially improve the bike in the off season, he will win some dry races next year and will be at or near the top of the championship...We'll know by this time next year.

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 18:43

Copying my comments from another VR post (Audi ambitious future for me):

Don't forget to mention that Yamaha M1 was developed by Alexandre Barros, back in the day. Rossi got some full developed bike, just waiting for a good pilot.

Word from Kenny Roberts Jr:

"Rossi is on the Honda, has it figured out and has Jeremy Burgess. Honda has the bike, crew, tires, etc. The championship is his."

"Then, he is with Honda when the move to four strokes and MotoGP is made. It's (the RC211V). Honda again has the bike, crew, tires, etc. He wins."

Roberts continues, "Then he goes to Yamaha. Okay, nobody remembers this, but, who rode the Yamaha the season before Rossi? Alex Barros. Remember they gave Barros an RC212V at the end of 2002 and he won three of the last four races on it. So he was very good. And Barros told Yamaha in 2003, 'Hey, you have no torque here. What you need is more power and a flatter torque curve so it has a wider powerband'. And so, when they go to build the new engine configuration, they make it with more torque, change the firing order, a wider powerband and more power. Valentino rode the bike at Malaysia and it was a lot better. So, Rossi, with a lot of effort from Yamaha and himself, gets on the Yamaha and wins the world championship."

there's like Duke has the same problem.... so much "powah!"

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 19:16

@Fred Santos, who is this "Kenny Roberts Jr" guy and does his word hold more sway in the world of GP motorcycle racing than the illustrious Pagik and Evil Ken Evil? ;-)

@Patrick Kelly 2, yes this is the inconvenient truth about a member of your race team as a "development" rider. All the GP riders and race techs can do is adjust settings and move the odd thing around. Burgess isn't throwing in a new crank or making changes to the firing order any more than Richard Branson is flying 747s. There has clearly been a breakdown between the feedback given by Rossi, et al and the engineers at Ducati Corse in Bologna. It highlights that riders and pit crewscan't make that much of a difference.

Rossi going back to Yamaha with his tail between his legs will be a very sad sight indeed. He'd better hope that Yamaha hand him a peach of a WSBK bike, because what we've seen in the last two years doesn't fill me with confidence he can deal with anything else.

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 19:50

I do not have a crystal ball, insight or dreams of the future events to come, but I can see VR leaving for another team. If for anything, to get back onto the box and finish as he has stated he would.

There is Hayden still, who has worked very hard and yet very reserved. And now with Audi at the helm, perhaps it is not too late for Ducati to get back to #1.

But, as we all know, we have to see it to believe it.

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 21:34

I can't quite believe some of the hate crap im reading. Some of it is so retarded it's not even worth trying to explain how ignorant and wrong it is...

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 23:46

Yamaha is the better choice in term's of ganing the suitable result's the doctor should have had , but Valentino even said that he wanted to end he's career in motogp with an Italian team , hard choice , but in my opinion Vale will stay with Ducati , finish what he started.

Posted: 04/08/2012 at 02:43

I questioned Rossi's development capabilities too, wondering whether he was just lucky with great engineers..

Then I heard about Rossi firing up Cal Crutchlow's career by fixing a setup problem with the WSBK Yamaha after a few rides..

Who bloody knows what to think?!!

I think Cal is doing bloody fantastic though. If he could beat Dovi on the brakes he'd be fighting for a fair few podiums. I reckon if everyone groups together we can get Yamaha to give him a factory ride..

That's how it works right?


Posted: 04/08/2012 at 09:17

Just go to MCN Patrick Kelly, Fred Santos, SlowInFastOut et al - this site has been mercifully idiot-free, please don't change that.

Posted: 04/08/2012 at 09:55

@Maverick Renegade, Set-up is very different from development. Development starts when set-up fails to solve the problem.

This is the big misunderstanding. I have no doubt that Rossi and Burgess can set up a bike as well as (or better than) anyone, but they aren't able to develop the bike themselves.

Ducati were in denial that they had underlying problems with the bike, and thought that a few tweaks here and there would do the trick. They didn't and at least it proves that the problem is one that can only be fixed by engineers, not technicians. They didn't believe Casey Stoner when he told them there were problems, and they didn't believe Rossi initially, but I guess after two years of hopeless results, they are probably starting to come around.

Posted: 04/08/2012 at 11:35

@M_O, @mobus... what's the matter don't like people bursting your Rossi bubble with uncomfortable facts? Awwwwww, diddums!

Maybe you can pick up some #46 merchandise - Ducati will have a few warehouses full of that awful yellow and red tat they've been trying to shift for the last two years ;-)

Posted: 04/08/2012 at 11:37

@slow in,really,what makes you such an expert. That is why Yamaha want him back,cos he cant ride and he cant develop.Yamaha is famous for employing riders like that.Next time you post rubish just remember who the 9xWc is,and show some respect.

Posted: 04/08/2012 at 14:30

@sasa dj, what do Yamaha need to develop exactly? They already have the bike (and rider) that is leading the world championship! All they want Rossi for the sponsorship money he will bring.

His development of any new WSBK bike will be limited as the starting point will be a new roadgoing R1 (or whatever it ends up being called) and the WSBK rules significantly limit what can be done. So another round of tweaks.

Posted: 04/08/2012 at 15:57

LOL rossi, so good he is nearly unstoppable (on a leading factory jap bike) .... lol dude just go retire eh?

Posted: 05/08/2012 at 00:25

i think ducati have proven its not the bike.... its rossi thats the problem, they bought him up to sell bikes.... the achieved that now get shot of him let him play crt with the does not fit in any championship crew

Posted: 05/08/2012 at 00:29

Here here M_O.

Posted: 05/08/2012 at 08:21

HOAX!!!!!! Suckers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted: 05/08/2012 at 15:18

umm, no. The hoax was a Niall McKenzie writing on twitter he saw Rossi at Yamaha Amsterdam the other day - total bullshit made by a computer hacker. Thats all.

Posted: 05/08/2012 at 23:24

So, this post has some really funny stuff on it... Erm...

"I'm referring to testing and practice as practice. Riders aren't allowed to ride their new competitors bikes until at least October after the last race. Rossi didn't change that much in a few months with very strictly limited test days allowed by MotoGP regulations before the first race."

Again, no offense intended, but you do realize in 2003/2004 there wasn't a restriction on testing, and Yamaha held quite a few more tests to get things in check? With Rossi at the helm and Burgess and the team taking part? Each subsequent test had changes based on feedback from the last. Infact, when Rossi signed for Yamaha, in the leadup discussions, Lin Jarvis, the boss of Yamaha actually thought Rossi might be privately having a joke and not taking the offer seriously at all, because Yamaha were so far behind.

Vale, JB and Furusawa and their respective teams - as a combination - were responsible for that bike improving from '04 onwards. As for Barros, yes he did do a lot of work in '03 and laid a lot of ground for the bike to improve, but it's foolish to believe VR/JB literally turned up, adjusted the suspension and then won a championship. Since VR turned up at the end of '03, they'd changed the engine, swingarm, revised the chassis and switched to different forks, I'd suspect the '03 bike was still some way off.

Why hasn't this worked at Ducati? Well perhaps the same reason Ducati haven't really moved in since being in GP. Out of Bayliss, Xaus, Capirossi, Checa, Gibernau, Barros (remember him), Melandri, Hayden, Rossi and Stoner, only Stoner has been able to find success on it. And if we're honest, Stoner had 1st, 2nd, 4th, 4th - it was going downhill, he jumped on the Honda and was immediately excellent, the bike held him back.

Face it, the bike sucks, many have tried, all have failed. Ducati don't analyze failures, they looked at Stoners wins, but ignored his spates of constant front end crashes - those crashes cost them championships, those crashes also highlighted why other riders wouldn't push the bike as hard as Casey.

It takes a few components to develop a bike at this level, one is a rider and their crew - being able to setup what they have, and give clear and concise feedback to an engineering department. The flipside is that engineering department need to develop around the requirements that their riders have. This is something that has significantly not worked in Ducati Corse, not just for Rossi, but for every rider they've ever had - including Casey. They fail to fix major problems - front end grip has been an issue since November '10 for Vale, it's still not fixed, it was an issue for Casey from '08/'09 onwards, more so with spec tyres - they constantly ignore input and I fully understand why Vale wants to leave.

The BIG difference between Vale and the other riders? Vale has had a massive magnifying glass on every detail, so the failures have been more open and visible for all to see.

The advice to Ducati from Neil Spalding (look him up, he forgot more than any of us know about GP) was 'Ignore Rossi at your peril'. If they followed his direction from '10, that bike would have Vale, Nicky and other riders on the podium by now, it's that simple. Look at the Yamaha, In '04 only Vale done well on it, as the years went on and they followed the direction, the bike got more friendly and more compliant. Now, their Satellite team challenges for places that should only be open to factories.

I'd suggest perhaps looking at the rules and regs that were in place on the seasons you comment on rather than just assuming it's 'as it is now' back then...

Posted: 06/08/2012 at 13:43

Wise words Rob. All true, well said. I think the biggest loser out of all this Ducati stuff has been Stoner, they cost him much better results.

The truth of the pudding for Ducati was a few weeks ago when Rossi came off, front end, just went down as soon as he touched the brakes; next, Hayden did exactly the same thing on exactly the same corner. It spoke volumes.  

Posted: 06/08/2012 at 23:09

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