After breaking the news that Valentino Rossi signed a two-year contract with Ducati Corse, or as we like to refer to it: the worst kept secret in the MotoGP garage, we waited to see the official news of Rossi’s departure materialize after the weekend break, but to no avail. Knowing that our information was correct, we now understand why the announcement didn’t materialize when we expected it: because of a gentleman’s agreement between Ducati & Yamaha.

In exchange for delaying the announcement until after the American round at Laguna Seca (now slated for the Monday after racing at Brno), Yamaha is allowing Rossi to test the Ducati Desmosedici GP10 when MotoGP stops at Valencia at the end of the 2010 season.

Rossi hinted that an announcement about his future would wait until after the Czech GP, and now the Monday after Brno seems to be the venue where we’ll officially hear what we already know. Yamaha’s concern about an announcement before the Red Bull US GP reportedly stems from the company’s desire to keep Rossi’s star power at its highest as the team heads to the company’s most important motorcycle market.

Yamaha Motor USA made it obvious last year with their marketing efforts that when MotoGP comes to town, Yamaha intends to capitalize on the situation. With a bevy of humorous videos and photos coming from the Yamaha MotoGP teams and factory-backed riders, we expect a similar campaign will unfold this year as well. Obviously if news about Rossi heading to Ducati had been made official before these campaigns, they wouldn’t have the same meaning or weight.

The real question in the Ducati/Rossi saga though, is whether Jeremy Burgess will follow Rossi to Ducati, or stay at Yamaha. With some rumors pointing JB to a possible stint at HRC with Casey Stoner, we’ll likely have to wait until Rossi/Ducati’s announcement to know what the Yamaha garage will look like in 2011.

Source: La Gazzetta via Two Wheels Blog

  • Adam A

    If Yamaha wants to capitalize on the news at Laguna Seca it should be them announcing that Ben Spies is replacing Rossi.

  • Faceplanter

    Yeah, you broke the new alright, and got a big pie in your face…..

  • Jp

    Oh Snap @Faceplanter ^

  • georGe aka-VintageWrencher

    “Breaking the news”? Havent other media outlets already reported this same rumour?
    Until a reputable source is named,the rider announces it or the mfg’s announce it,it is still rumour. Not saying I dont think it isnt gonna happen just that it aint a done deal til the Skinny Italian sings. lol

  • sometime i think AR gets too excited and pleased with it’s self. a objective editor might help.

  • Hmm. I’m excited and pleased with myself on a daily basis. Screw objectivity.

    Burgess has been quoted before as saying that he will follow his rider wherever he goes. I can’t believe the Ducati deal happened without his inclusion. I will be excited and pleased to see what happens after Brno.

  • if objectivity does not resonate, how does the term journalism feel?

    either way, your infograph was nice. more eyecandy please.

  • Pingback: Asphalt_Rubber()

  • The contract is signed, done deal. No rumor, just fact. We’ve heard that from too many sources now.

    As far as Spies announcing at Seca, it won’t happen. Maybe at Indy though.

    Rossi’s announcement is holding up Yamaha from announcing anything, and it’s also holding up Ducati from announcing Hayden’s re-signing. For example, Yamaha can’t announce Ben Spies moving up to Fiat-Yamaha, without then outing themselves for letting Rossi go.

    At the end of the day, it’s all a series of dominos that starts with Rossi.

  • emd

    salty britches some of you guys.. I still dont know what you would rather, hear nothing at all until the manufact. announces?

  • hey look, i love the site, read it everyday and since i don’t want to be “that guy” i will leave it at that…

  • I’m actually one of those people that likes it when people disagree with me, and give us “feedback” about the job we’re doing here. That means our readers are digesting what we put out there, and making their own minds up for themselves. Independent thought is a rare thing, and it worries me when you just read a bunch of cheerleading in the comment sections on other sites.

    Yeah, it sucks us for us that they didn’t announce on that Monday like they had intended, but that doesn’t mean the news is wrong, or that Ducati hasn’t signed Rossi. Things change, and in MotoGP where there are tons of politics and egos, things change a lot.

    Some people might not believe the news until it comes from Rossi’s mouth, and that’s fine. You shouldn’t take things you read for granted, including news from A&R. Of course, if you hold fast to that strategy, you wouldn’t have believed that Michael Lock was leaving Ducati N.A….and we were the ones that broke that news before even the company knew about it.

    Enjoy the site, leave comments (both positive & negative), and ride safe.

    ps. Ruby, more infographs are on the way!

  • BikePilot

    Good to see Ducati and Yamaha are working this out so well.

  • Bjorn

    Ditto BikePilot.

    Although I’m not entirely surprised. When Rossi left Honda for Yamaha, Big Red held him to his contract right to the very last day; to delay testing on the YSRM1. Honda’s letter-of-the-law enforcement of The Doctor’s contract made it so much cooler when he won the World Championship during his 1st year at Yamaha. It was a great poke in the eye for Honda with their corporate philosophy of, “Engineering wins, the pilot is ballast.”
    I think Yamaha are smart enough to see how it made Honda look and take steps to avoid doing it to themselves. Besides, it is apparently common for companies to release riders after the racing finishes.

    Ciao, Bjorn.

  • I have it on good athourity (call it inside information also) that Val has one of two plans for this sport before his retirement. Neither of which do I know what he will choose.
    He has always wanted to ride for the Italian manufactuerer so he can continue to spend more time near his home. He has commented that being away from home has made life itself “interesting”.
    A. He plans to retire soon and is going to do so being closer to home while helping to develop the GP11 with the exception of testings and races.
    B. He wants to retire by winning a championship on all 5 major manufacturers ( HRC, Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki, and Kawasaki). Which once again is inside information.

    This is my own insite and based on opinion only to follow.
    I how ever will interject the possibility of the latter not taking place to the dismay of enthusiast’s of suzuki and kawasaki. Both of these factories have issues with their engineering processes.
    Val has the unique ability with the assistance of Jeremy and the team to translate what the rider needs the bike to do in order to perform well. This is not something all riders on the circut can achieve. Claiming the bike ” won’t turn” or “wont break hard enought” for example is not benificial to the process of developing a bike properly.
    Thank you for your time.

  • ufivkkbklyktdydvg

    DNAPU999s —i agree with u

  • Rossi to Ducati, Lorenzo must have frightened

  • SPQR

    Instead of Kawasaki and Suzuki, I’d like to see Rossi have a go at Aprilia and BMW, if and when they decide to throw their hats onto the circuit.

  • I have a feeling that BMW may not enter the MOTOGP circut for some time. If you look at their global sales for sportbikes, it takes up less than 1% of global sales. MOTOGP as well as WSBK is about R&D as well as bike sales.
    As for Aprilia, who’s to say when they will make that leap.
    I stick with what I know and hear. I can only relate my information when I am permitted to leak it. My opinions are just that.