QUESTIONS surround the future of Valentino Rossi and Ducati with some rumours pointing towards the Italian returning to Yamaha, a move that former team-mate Jorge Lorenzo has said he would welcome.
One of the key reasons behind Rossi's switch to Ducati - despite stating his desire to end his career at Yamaha - was the decision to retain Lorenzo in the factory team, as the Spaniard was winning on the YZR-M1 he crafted.
But during the first round at Qatar speculation spread from a report in the Italian media that Rossi would be leaving Ducati to rejoin Yamaha, in his own satellite team with sponsorship from Coca Cola. A wild rumour for two reasons: he has a multi-million pound deal with Monster Energy and Yamaha have said they are at their limit with four M1s on the grid.
Lorenzo, as quoted on Motorsport-Magazin, commented on the rumours: "I wouldn't mind at all. I work for Yamaha, and if there was another fast rider on the machine, we could improve our overall chances of success."
Responding to Lorenzo, and trying to calm the rumour-mill, Rossi said: “I’m very grateful to Lorenzo and in this difficult moment he’s the only rider who still respects me and I appreciate it, but it’s still too early to talk about next season, we still have to make the Ducati work, that is our goal.”