MotoGP

Rossi gives Yamaha Lorenzo ultimatum

Nine-time World Champion could be off to Ducati from 2012

NEWLY-CROWNED MotoGP World champion Valentino Rossi issued a warning to his current employers, Yamaha, that he will leave for Ducati in 2011 if they continue to keep his arch rival Jorge Lorenzo in the squad.

Rossi, who won his ninth world crown this year, spoke to BBC News following the last race of the 2009 season at Valencia, Spain.

"Yamaha have to decide between me and Jorge for 2011," said Rossi. "I have a great option to join Ducati."

Lorenzo has proved stiff competition for the flambouyant 2009 World Champion; it seems the Italian is now looking to feather his nest from 2010 onwards, when his Yamaha MotoGP contract comes to an end.

"I am not sure 100% if I will stay with Yamaha," said Rossi. "It depends on what happens next year. It depends on my performance and the fight with Jorge Lorenzo and the decision of Yamaha for 2011.

"I could change bike, ride for Ducati and try to win the world championship with an Italian bike. That would be a great motivation.

"But I prefer at this moment to stay with Yamaha because the love between me and Yamaha, our relationship, is something special.

"To change bike would feel unfaithful. So for Yamaha it is important that I finish my career with them and for me it is also important. "

Mmm. Is Rossi really that concerned about his arch rival? Moreover, would he be able to master the Desmosedici?

We'd certainly like to see him try.

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