Rossi "99%" Certain To Race At Phillip Island And Finish The Season

Two of the big stories that have dominated the 2010 MotoGP season collided at Sepang, and both involve Valentino Rossi: The tale of Rossi's injured shoulder, and the saga of his move to Ducati. After the thrilling battle between Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, in which the two did physical combat, swapping places for 3rd for the last couple of laps, Rossi was reprimanded by Yamaha for potentially endangering Yamaha's hopes of a championship, with Jorge Lorenzo still not having wrapped up the 2010 title. Shortly after, rumors emerged from the Rossi camp that the Italian would race at Sepang then return to Italy for shoulder surgery, skipping the final three rounds of the MotoGP championship. Paddock rumor suggested this decision had been prompted by the fact that Yamaha were now extremely unlikely to allow Rossi to test the Ducati at Valencia, directly after the final race of the season.

When Rossi was asked about these rumors at Sepang, he denied that he intended to stop racing after Malaysia, though he did not rule it out altogether. "For sure I will go to Australia," Rossi told the pre-event press conference at Sepang. After the race at Aragon, Rossi had spoken about missing the final two rounds at Estoril and Valencia, and instead having surgery to fix the problem. At Sepang he said that he was reconsidering that decision, after finishing the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi with a lot less pain than expected: "99%, I will say almost for sure if  I don't have some extra pain [from the shoulder], I will finish the season."

Rossi's comments seem to suggest that he may still have a chance to test the Ducati in November, directly after the Valencia MotoGP round. Yamaha racing boss Lin Jarvis has refused to be drawn on the issue, insisting that no decision has yet been made. Whether it has been made or not, that decision is likely only to be made public at Valencia itself. Yamaha has much to gain by preventing Rossi from testing, but they also have a lot to lose, as refusing Rossi's request to ride the Ducati would lose them a lot of sympathy with the bike-buying public. Keeping that decision private until after Valencia, however, means they still have some control over Rossi's public statements on the company, at least until November.

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Hoping he does come to Phillip Island - I will be there looking forward to some more fantastic racing!

Bring it on!!

Am sure there are millions more better qualified than me to speak, but my regard for how Yamaha is handling Rossi's departure is dipping rapidly. They have given him a lot of freedom for sure, but he has brought them more glory than they could have hoped for. I have not been a Rossi fan at all (quite the opposite in fact), but I think I am surely warming up to Rossi with this one.

I think it isn't so much the riding glory, but Rossi's unquestionable development skills that Lorenzo will be hard pressed to emulate. Even if he can keep it at the same high levels, it would be admirable.


I will argue, Rossi held out for a while on where he was going for sure. Then kept his crew silent leaving yamaha "holding the bag". So if yamaha is to return the less than favor, they will leave him holding the bag so to speak as to if they will allow him to test. in the end if he get surgery they will let him test. If he neglects surgery they will not possibly or allow him but make him look like a sour puss.

He needs to either commit to surgery ASAP or get the testing in writing. Honda kept his championship bike, Yamaha prevents him from leaving earlry; Soap opera GP style.

I definitely want him to get his shoulder healthy, but I want to see his testing of the Ducati. Yamaha is definitely drawing closer to awareness of the no-win situation. I'm glad that they're at least giving a thought to the consequences of their actions, because they've certainly not shown any good sense of late.

It's already past the point of no return, really.

Rossi, in his own way, has them right where he wants them. (And the bike-buying public's opinion DOES matter. I never looked at another Honda after Rossi left. When he's at Ducati, making adverts for them, Yamaha had better not be running Rossi's ads, too. They'll then have Jorge, with the subtitle "ONE-time Moto GP World Champion". Oh, THAT will sell some R1s...)

If they succeed in muzzling him for the comment, then they renege on the deal and punk him, the outrage and fallout will be HUGE.

And yes, getting it in writing WOULD be the best thing to do. If only those numbskulls would do such a common-sensical thing...

,, the educated motorcycle buyer usually buys a bike that performs the way that we expect it to,,, the way that it fits our ability and riding intention,, and maybe the way it looks. According to you, when Rossi retires, no one will buy another motorcycle ever again? Who is buying all of those great GSXR's when the GSVR is such a slug.
The R1 has little to do with an M1. Yamaha will always sell tons of R1's because it has always been and probably will be. a pretty decent bike. Now, if a manufacturer makes a "replica", then it will sell on the riders popularity.
IMO, SBK racing probably has a bigger influence on sport-bike sales.

the educated motorcycle buyer knows it really doesn't matter whether he buys a CBR, GSXR, Ninja, R1, because all of those bikes are better than he is.

So what it comes down to is brand loyalty. Brand loyalty can be very strong, but it can shift with brand image.

If Yamaha deal with Rossi in an unsavory manner, their bikes might start looking unsavory, too.

..... with Yamaha wanting Vale to race all the races this year.

A contract is a contract. Thats fine.

However, I do remember that Aprillia let him ride the HRC & HRC let him ride the Yamaha ??? so it would be a shame for Yamaha not to let him test the Ducati early, but I can see why they would not want to.
Why give the GOAT a headstart if the prevent it.

With 100% backing from Ducati & JB at his side, I can see (yet again) the Mr Rossi Jnr will be a force not to be taken lightly.

actually HRC did not allow Rossi to test the Yamaha until the end of the year, not the end of the season.

Are you people for real? Even if Yamaha plans on letting him test the Ducati, why on earth would they put it in writing?!

Anyway, the 2003 Yamaha needed more work for 2004 compared to what the 2010 Ducati needs for 2011... Honda DID NOT let Rossi test, didn't mater much did it? The Ducati has won the last two races in convincing style. If Rossi needs the surgery no matter what (rehab only not being an option), he would be better off just getting the surgery at the end of the season (or whenever he wants to get it) and dropping the issue.

The real difference is that in 2004 the rules allowed for much more testing over the winter. But under current rules testing is more limited.

That Honda did not let Rossi test at the end of 2003 may not have been such a big deal because there were plenty of other tests in the off season. But if Rossi cannot test at the end of this year, that may prove crucial because there are few testing opportunities before the 2011 season.

I'd like to see Rossi get his shoulder fixed sooner as well. I want him fully fit for 2011 with no lingering health issues or complications. However, if he finishes the season I suspect Yamaha will let him test for Ducati. Yamaha has a history of being pretty good to their champions. Rossi is their greatest ever. I don't think they throw away all that greatness together over a test.

Despite wanting Rossi to be 100% next year, I am selfishly happy I will get to see him ride Philip Island (not in person). He looks so good at that track. Stoner too. It's one of the only tracks I really like seeing him on.

Yamaha sure seem to be pissed at Rossi. Normally Yamaha is one of the more mellow companies when it come to this kind of thing. And if it were not for Rossi's SKILLS taking that Yamaha to his first year Championship win, I doubt they would be as successful as they are now. This is someone that rides around problems and figures ways to go fast even when they had chatter issues some years back. Pushed the bike so hard he chunked the FRONT tire.

Yamaha for the first time seems to be the best all around bike. But that could be down to the riders on the team. IMHO, the bike is really only as good as Colin Edwards makes it look. Yamaha look like they feel slighted by Rossi. When in fact, they have definitely chosen the future over the past. Which is a business decision. This in turn making Rossi that vengeful dude again. I think he needs to test the Ducati this year. According to Rossi himself, he says his competition is far stronger than when he moved to Yamaha. Said it in a statement when asked about the pace of riders now, Lorenzo, Stoner, Pedrosa, compared to then, Biaggi, Gibernau. And he said then, there were different parts of the race. Beginning Middle, and End. Now it is all out, the whole way. He is older. He will need to adjust to the Ducati and make modifications as well. Cannot wait to see what happens.

And I agree. He does need to get it in writing. Or else he could run into the same thing as he did with Honda not giving him his championship bike. If it is not in writing. It will be null and void.

Sure understand why.Stopped a Stoner quadruple at Quatar,or rather,lucked out his only win of the season there, by his own admission.Fancies a repeat in Aus and it can happen.Politicking and backstabbing aside,Rossi holds the high ground in terms of engines aswell as having signed for Ducati.Stoner could well end up being a passenger in his own back yard.I think he's painfully aware of this.
Yamaha/Ducati...let Rossi test the Ducati post Valencia.
A real 'soapie' on the cards.Yamaha can sabotage Rossi and Ducati can sabotage Stoner.
Waiting in the wings,Ben Spies,at a track he's been around.
Power to Yamaha.They have the World Champion elect and an ace up their sleeve,nevermind what the others conjure up.
As for sales etc,the more wins,the more sales.Ducati know this.
2007 and 2008.Stoner and Bayliss.
Trending now...sales to wins...Kawasaki to whomever. Persona's remain a flash in the pan.Grace the stage for a while and off they go.The marque,hopefully remains.

Politics aside, I'd just be happy to see a few more decent races like last week - they are way too few and far between for my likes.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dani, Jorge and Casey but when they start running away at the front, the race gets boring as hell and when Rossi mixes it up with Casey or Jorge they complain. Net-net, I hope Rossi hangs in there for the rest of the season just to spice things up a bit.

Just my two cents worth.

I think Rossi is motivated to keep taking it to Jorge during the last several rounds. Not letting the new world champion finish in front of him as he departs a team he and JB built. Kind of like what he did to Sete.

I respect that, as that is what Champions do.

As for Bike sales, Repsol Honda's got harder to sell post Rossi and even harder to sell post Nicky. Most people who look at them today "like Orange" and have no idea what Repsol is, so much of the motorcycling public are not educated about what they are buying.

Rossi R1s are dinosaurs on the sales floor. Yamaha should have made a Spies replica for the US market (France got one, granted they were dealer made).

Ducati has had tremendous success in selling replicas, The Nicky 848 sold out before the first one hit the show room floor. Marketing done better in Italy.

I have been a fan of Yamaha as a race team and a brand for many years. I was even tiring of Rossi dominating so profusely and became a Lorenzo fan last year, and found myself rooting for him to beat Vale. But this whole debacle is leaving a tarnish on this season for me. For several reasons.

Yamaha is behaving petty and unprofessional with this will we/wont we let Vale test the Ducati. After all Rossi has done for the marque after so long, to behave this way is just ungrateful. This is more than business. When it comes to sport at this level, when you battle week in week out together, the relationship is beyond employee/employer. Rossi turned around Yamaha. Without Rossi there would have been no Burgess, and who knows how bad the team would have continued to be. After all the championships and battles, the highs and lows, the awkward and, quite frankly, embarrassing situation of asking Vale to take a pay cut so they can afford to pay his number one rival and teammate. After all that, the very least Yamaha team management could do is say "Sure go test the Ducati, bon voyage, thanks for everything"

Also, what message is Yamaha sending by denying Valentino the opportunity to test at Valencia? Erm, we can't beat you in a fair fight, so we're going to limit you chance to prepare, whilst we meanwhile continue to prepare on the bike you and JB pretty much built. In my book, you have to beat the best in the world to be the best in the world. To play petty politics with that is very unsportsmanlike as far as I'm concerned.

And on that matter, regarding the Rossi/Lorenzo duffing match at Motegi. Pure theatre for the fans. The best battle all season. And it was a good hard fair fight. I was nothing short of astonished when I read Jorge's comments. I lost all respect for that man, despite his considerable talent, after that. And my admiration for Rossi has been fully renewed. Then, to add insult to the whole affair, Yamaha has the unbelievable nerve to reprimand the four time world champion for daring to race his rival. Again, the message that sends is we can't beat you in a fair fight so we need to intervene to get the result we desire. It stinks. I hate team orders. I hate them in F1 and I hate them in MotoGP. But in Yamaha's case, I can't believe they seriously expect a rider of Vale's caliber to cave and buckle. If that was in his make-up they would not be sitting on those championships today. Plus, it takes two to tango, and if at any time Jorge wanted to play it safe and protect his championship lead, then the throttle turns both ways. But Jorge chose to fight tooth and nail, thank heavens he did, and give us fans a wonderful display of how great this sport can be. To complain at the end about your rivals tactics smells like wanting your cake and eating it too. You can't race that hard with a foe as tough as Vale and expect not to get duffed up a bit. Man up Jorge and take it on the chin.

So I really hope the season plays out as expected, with some great battles, and drama on the race track not off it. Even without Dani there to push Jorge to the end. And I hope Yamaha finds some modicum of gratitude and sends Vale on his way in good spirit.

After Motegi it seems pretty clear -- as Rossi himself said, barring an unpleasant surprise -- that he's fit enough to race 'til the end of the season. And to fulfill his contract with Yamaha, that's what he ought to do. He should state that clearly; perhaps today he more or less did.

And Yamaha ought to show some good will and say now that Rossi will be free to test for Ducati after Valencia.

Then Rossi can have the surgery. Given how quickly he got back to racing after that terrible leg injury, there's probably a good chance he'll be ready to go when testing gets underway again in 2011.

So what's the problem?

Also, is there any hard evidence of this 'reprimand'?

With Dani out for awhile and Rossi talking about taking a medical leave, you have to know Dorna is in a panic about the rest of the races. I suspect they are pressuring Yamaha to release Rossi to test the Ducati, in turn for Rossi to finish the season. This is the only logical reason that Rossi has said that he's 99% sure he will finish the season.

I used to be a Honda customer. I owned a string of Honda motorcycles, five of them actually. I can't say that I stopped buying Hondas because of their treatment of my motorcycle racing heroes, Vale and Nicky, but I have bought a bunch of motorcycles in the past few years, and none of them were Hondas. I'm pretty sure I haven't even visited a Honda showroom in the last three years. There is something distasteful about them to me.
I have five Yamahas in my garage right now. Each one of them has a Honda model that it competes with directly - but I bought the Yamaha instead. If I thought that team Yamaha treated Vale badly at the end of this season, would I be turned off? I don't know. I'll just have to wait and see.

P.I. without Rossi would be like tequila without salt, pies without sauce, pizza without anchovies. Plus which, we all want to have the most recent data for next year when Rossi on the Duc squares up to Stoner on the Honda.

It would seem that everyone will benefit from Rossi finishing the season (as well he should).

1. Yamaha get to save face in how things may (or may not) have been handled in the press and keep their brand image post-Rossi.
2. Valentino looks like a stand-up guy in honoring his contract (even though it's a CONTRACT) retaining his brand image
3. Dorna will have at least 16 bikes on the grid for Phillip Island and will retain advertising revenue.

Racing Wise;
1. The fans will get to see Vale ride Philip Island one last time on the M1 (remember last years duel with Casey???)
2. After the dust up at Motegi and Lorenzo securing the championship this weekend in Sepang, both Rossi and Lorenzo will be quite happy to bang fairings.......I have no doubt that Rossi will be out to finish in front of Jorge for the remaining races.
3. Rossi get's to further observe the progress of the Ducati. Other than riding on the bike, following it is the next best thing for gathering information.

If Valentino decides not to ride after Philip Island, nobody benefits. But most of all, it is the fans who miss out and THAT it what is important.

can someone explain this to me? sounds like a bad year to become a moto fan, but this is my first year

doesn't lorenzo already have this years championship wrapped up? pedrosa is out and JL is ahead by well over 50 pts

not yet mathematically. only then will the trophy get awarded. if he were to have a season ending crash in Sepang, dani could STILL come back, win the remaining races, and steal the trophy. unlikely, but not completely impossible.

I agree with madmac66. I was just beginning to have a little respect for J.L. and then he gets into a real race with 46 and comes completely unwound. I lost all respect for J.L. and I am completely turned off by his response to some real racing. That is why they call it racing - not riding. Racers want to win! If J.L. wanted the championship more than just passing 46 - he could have backed off. He had a choice, and I think he showed some really STUPID judgement last week. Those few laps were great for motoGP and the fans. It looked like the old days all over again. But what a bad decision on the part of J.L.

The aftermath of the race is where I really lost respect for J.L. and for Yamaha!!!

To try that hard to beat 46 - lose that particular race within a race - and then start complaining is just what a novice rider would do. The whole fiasco says a ton about J.L. - he is a cry baby! He trys to match 46, in the way of celebrations (but doesn't come close) and showmanship (again - not even close) and when he gets beat, he cries. This is not what a man would do, it just shows what J.L. has become.

As for Yamaha - they have also shown their true colors. I do consider how the brands treat their racers when thinking of a new bike. I stopped buying Hondas because of the way they have dealt with their riders (not just 46 & 69) and not just motoGP riders (think Ricky C.). I will never buy another Yamaha if they do not let Rossi test the Ducati. That is a promise. If they don't allow 46 to test they are just cowards, plain and simple and this will do a lot to tarnish their image.

The fact that 46 is on the mend and coming back strong is a warning to all cry babies. Watch out for the fun to come!

re: your comments on yamaha. of course they will support Jorge on this. he's about to be their champion and he is with them for 2 more years.

in the past they had rossi's back on some pretty caustic comments and rossi himself is guilty of the exact thing you are laying on JLo : remember how pissed Valentino was at Elias when Toni's lines didn't fly with The Doctor (and then Toni beat Rossi) in 2006?

how anyone can say "that was some awesome racing" and "that was a STUPID thing to do" in the same sentence i just don't get. jorge is a hot blooded racer through and through. his comments and yamaha's response was sub-optimal... but i think this thing is getting blown WAY out of proportion.

me, i just see it as even more entertainment. some very funny shit has been said as a result by all sides. and of course the racing was great.

"Toni come crazy today...he ride with the Devil" :-) Great line from Rossi (or best I can recollect the quote from the day Elias won)

But I do think there's a clear difference between a multi-World Champion (Rossi) criticizing someone at Elias' level (opinion based on Toni's success-rate) ...and... two near-equal rivals (such as Rossi & Jorge are...this year)..criticizing each other. This year (and last), Rossi & Jorge have been very close rivals...Elias has never really been in the same league as Rossi...maybe he should stay in Moto2.

If a one-trick pony is riding erradically...why shouldn't a multi-world champion call him out on that crap (?)

well, to be pedantic, toni challenged or beat rossi a bunch of times:

2005 Motegi - rossi crashed, toni didn't :)
2006 Jerez - toni ran rossi off the track causing him to crash - then went on to finish 4th
2006 Turkey - rossi beat toni but *BARELY* --- and complained about toni's riding afterwards - both were off the podium
2006 China - rossi retired with tire issues - toni finished
2006 France - rossi retired with engine issues - toni finished
2006 USA - rossi retired with blown engine - toni finished
2006 Portugal - legenderay as toni won the race by 2/1000th over rossi
2006 Valencia - rossi crashed, remounted and finished 13th (losing championship) - toni finished
2007 Turkey - toni 2nd, rossi 10th
2007 Misano - toni finished (this was the round after brno to which he returned just 7 week after a SPIRAL femur fracture that was a lot worse than rossi's fracture this year), rossi did not (mechanical with new pneumatic engine)
2007 Japan - toni on podium (3rd), rossi 13th
2007 Valencia - toni finished, rossi did not
2008 Brno and Misano - the one hit wonder has two podiums in a row (but does get soundly beaten by Rossi)
2009 France - Rossi crashes and has like 50 ride throughs... Toni finishes 10th

ya i know, a silly comparison in a lot of ways. rossi beat toni in the other 60 odd meetings and one would hardly compare the two in terms of achievements.

keep a couple of things in mind tho:
. toni never had a factory ride
. toni's style WORKS (for him anyway) - VR complaining that Toni's lines were "wrong" was baseless