Rossi "99 Percent Certain" To Stay At Yamaha

The reports by Italian broadcaster Sportmediaset that Casey Stoner had allegedly signed for Honda - a report later denied by HRC manager Livio Suppo - unleashed the usual wave of speculation about Stoner's vacant seat at Ducati. The Sportmediaset reports also included suggestions that Ducati were pursuing Valentino Rossi hard, implying the Italian might be close to make the switch that every Italian is begging for, putting Valentino Rossi on a Ducati for 2011.

Every Italian but one, that is. In the Italian sports daily Gazzetto dello Sport, Rossi denied he was considering switching to Ducati. Acknowledging that he had an excellent friendship with Ducati Corse manager and technical guru Filippo Preziosi, he told the Italian paper that he was happy with Yamaha, and "99 percent sure" to stay with the Japanese factory. Preziosi confirmed that there were no serious talks with Rossi, and that Ducati did not expect to be able to sign the Italian, as Rossi had made it clear to them that he was happy with Yamaha.

Preziosi also denied that Casey Stoner had already signed with Honda. He had spoken to Livio Suppo, Preziosi told the Gazzetto dello Sport, and Suppo had assured him that nothing had yet been signed. Preziosi acknowledged that Ducati would face a tough challenge to hold on to Stoner, as Suppo had been open with Ducati about his intention to try and lure the Australian to Honda, and Stoner had already informed Ducati that he was talking to Honda. Ducati would be doing their best to hang on to their star rider, but if they failed in that objective, they could make a move for Rossi's Fiat Yamaha teammate, Jorge Lorenzo. "Lorenzo is an interesting rider," Preziosi told the Gazzetta dello Sport, but pointed out that it is far too early to be making any kind of deals. With silly season starting to get into full swing, Ducati may not have the luxury of patience, though.

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I am guessing if Valentino was considering the switch, he would want to keep it quiet until a little later in the season? especially with Lorenzo being his greatest threat ?

Why do I get the feeling Ducati is going to leave Hayden hanging for 2011? I don't see Stoner leaving Ducati. If Lorenzo goes to Ducati it will be at Hayden's expense and I'm sure factory Yamaha would rather promote Spies than have Hayden back. Hayden/Edwards for Tech3? That would be an interesting partnering but the demotion from factory level would be a huge blow to Hayden. I wonder if Edwards is still pissed about Hayden getting his HRC GP ride?


Three top manufacturers, HRC, Yamaha, and Ducati.
Four Aliens.
Rossi refuses to ride with another #1.
Who will have to ride alongside another #1? Pedrosa and Lorenzo? Stoner and Lorenzo? Pedrosa and Stoner?

but you're talking bollox..
what's hard to work out sharp 5hit..?

First of all, you are being rude. Secondly, you are also being incoherent. Who is talking rubbish, and what does the string of Italian stuff mean? If you could spend 5 minutes longer to explain, then we could have a discussion.

Glad you police this stuff. Nothing is worse than forums filled with bad grammar and incoherent flame wars. It makes your site much more livable than most.
Respectful discourse is in too short a supply.

Apologies for the outburst..bad day at the office and one to many shandy.

IMO the Italian connection is just too strong. It is a natural progression, a huge challenge and the perfect setting for Rossi to finish up. The added side benefits are we get to see others move from their respective comfort zones just in time for 1000cc...could you write a better script?
If he stays at Yamaha after the Lorenzo spat and being told a wage cut is due..well?

I suspected something similar. Generally, your contributions are coherent, something which the previous one was too short to be.

My own problem with the Rossi-To-Ducati stories is that it is all just too Hollywood. There are a great many very good reasons to stay at Yamaha at this stage in Rossi's career, and a movie script move to Ducati - tempting as it may be - is simply too risky, and would add little to Rossi's reputation. If he was going to go, he would have gone a couple of years ago.

As you say, just too Mills & Boon... and how bad would the Rossi yellow look with the red. Maybe Ducati could pick another colour...?

I don't think it would make commercial sense to change at this stage. Ducati must plan for a future after the Rossi era and pick up young talent now to do that. Lorenzo would be the best choice and keep Hayden for another year if he performs better this year. IMPO of course:-)

rossi's problem, as it is now, can not leave yamaha, for any team that has has a top rider there already expect for honda barring honda to not sign lorenzo or stoner pedrosa is not a issue for rossi no matter what team pedrosa moves to. but why would rossi leave yamaha for honda, he wouldn't. he could never take the chance to ride for ducati, ever it's more of a career killer than star maker should rossi be able to make the thing go fast quickly. rossi only chance is to get lorenzo pushed out of yamaha, to get lorenzo off "his" bike,

lorenzo's problem, why would lorenzo leave yamaha he wouldn't not right now, he can not afford to be on different machine than rossi if he wants a chance to beat rossi. so yamaha should they choose have nothing to worry about if they want to keep the riders they have now.

stoner's problem is he could go anywhere he wants, and only honda have room for him, it's just a matter who is is more mad at honda or ducati. the only question here is how much better or worse would he be on a honda.

honda's problem, is they bet on a 250 genius the translate into big bike success, it has not, it won't. pedrosa is good for a few wins a year but will never win a championship, he won't be able to ride a ducati, he is far to

yamaha problem's they do not have any, personally i think they should give rossi his own team and bring spies up with lorenzo and find someone to ride along with the aging but gifted edwards.

That would be my best guess, Yamaha would give Valentino a team of his own like Honda did with Nastro Azzuro, but as far a Edwards to keep racing is not going to happen, he allready said his carrer will be on Tech3 development.

J-Lo should keep his cards very close to his chest and keep singing aloud his wish to stay at Yamaha. Just do that and let's see what exactly is this 1% Rossi still needs to find.

I have always thought that Valentino would end his career with Ducati or if he switched to automobiles; Ferrari. It only seems fitting. I've felt this would happen long before this story broke about Stoner possibly signing with Honda. I'd like to see Rossi riding for a manufacturer from his home country. I know Agostini mentioned at IOM he'd like to see the Doctor racing for the Italian's one day. Don't be surprised if it happens. Maybe not immediately but I predict one day Rossi will hook up with Ducati. That's just my opinion.

"Faster, Faster, Until The Thrill of Speed Overcomes The Fear of Death." ~
Hunter S. Thompson

David, how about instead of a MOTOGP fantasy league, lets see who can predict the line-up of where the 4 aliens go for 2011 and the person they bump, where he ends up!!

Sure we all wanna see Rossi at Ducati but we all know its not happening.

The theory of Stoner with Lorenzo and Spies to Fiat bike and Nicky ended up at Tech 3 is interesting. But sad for Nickys sake.

Pedrosa will need a VERY strong season if he wants to keep HRC and more importantly REPSOL happy, If he does'nt, Lorenzo will be at HRC and it will be comming out of Repsols wallet.

Rossi stays, Spies goes to Fiat, Ducati does'nt change and Pedrosa will be left in the cold!

"Rossi stays, Spies goes to Fiat, Ducati does'nt change and Pedrosa will be left in the cold!"

This is my prediction as well!

I don't think Rossi cares as much about riding an Italian bike as all the Italians do!

I think you are close.

Dani to Suzuki as his only factory option after HRC sign Lorenzo and Yamaha promote Spies. Loris will go to the farm.

Lorenzo will spend the season acting (poorly) that he loves his Yamaha home in an effort to increase his pay when he finally signs with Honda.

Rossi will drop hints that he's going to Ducati in an effort to mess with every ones head and increase his pay, though, in the end, he'll take the same amount of money to ride the same bike.

Ducati will add another zero to Stoner's pay check and not change riders.

I do believe Stoner will go to Honda because this bike is too loose for little Pedrosa. Stoner isn't afraid to ride the Honda as powerful as it is as we saw his performance on the previous Ducati.
Rossi I think enjoys life as simple as it is over in the Yamaha side. He is able to do battle with these younger guys (which as he says is the most challenge he has had since racing) and is strong enough to win. I believe Rossi is on the other side of the hill now coming down and records and titles are his main concern which is good for us as it brings still good competition. Rossi will not want to jeopardize himself and gamble riding elsewhere wasting time to develop a bike to suit his style but with that said as someone mentioned elsewhere Burgess has a lot to do with his decision. Maybe Burgess is the 100% .....
Lorenzo isnt moving an inch.
Little Dani on a Ducati maybe his only option. Maybe a direct switch with Casey. That may solve some spending issues for the manufacturers. Either way what ever happens i am excited at all the possibilities and outcoms and look foward to an exciting future for MotoGP.

It is so early in the Season I do not think any decisions will be made until the end. There are too many variables. For instance, if Dani Pedrosa has a good season, and gets a string of wins without the title. Honda MAY keep him. Watching him at the last race, it seems he has more drive to win than any other time, (the bar banging with Jorge). But if he fades out and Stoner does move to Honda, Ducati will spare no dollar to get Rossi. They will have no problem with bringing over Rossi's whole crew. EVEN if that means they have to buy out contracts. Then if Lorenzo...... and if Spies...... but if Dovisioso...... on and on and on.

None of us will know until the end of the year. And leave to Rossi to keep everyone guessing like a Day to Day Soap Opera.

It's May, and traditionally the contract negotiations for riders whose current contracts are ending get underway around June/July. So not too early. Everything is usually done and dusted by August.

No rider or factory can wait until the end of the year. Dani must negotiate on his form *now*, not on his form at seasons end. The last race was his home race, all riders lift for that. The bike was still a bucket, he was just digging deep. The dice with Jorge was nationalist pride, nothing more.

Stoner to stay, Rossi to stay, Lorenzo to go to Honda. Pedrosa won't go to Suzuki, so he will be in Moto2 in 2011, and most likely will take that title (so get on with it Elias if you want a title!). Tomisawa will replace Capirex at Suzuki. Spies to Fiat Yamaha and Kenny Noyes to partner Edwards at Tech3.

* one of the above may be a red herring : )

** a red herring that knows the fast line around Spanish tracks and maybe a few other Euro tracks might be a good catch...

I, for one, do not want to see Rossi leave Yamaha. I think it's really unlikely they will let him go without a major fight and a major pile of cash. He was integral in their return to the top of MotoGP. If you don't believe that, fine, but most of the world does and Rossi will be a marketing dream for years to come. Despite his years at Honda, he is sort of synonymous with Yamaha now and him at Ducati seems as off as Schumacher at Mercedes.
All the sturm und drang is fun to watch though.

I think it's very peculiar that everyone assumes Dani will get knocked out or down a notch before Dovizioso does. I love Dovi, he's been one of my favorite riders since I got into the sport (only three years now).... But, does anyone think that a top factory would fight to keep Dovi around and leave Dani by the wayside?

No one can wait until the end of the season which is why these first 6 races or so are very important for the riders. I just can't imagine a world where everyone sees Dani getting kicked out of MotoGP and Dovi stays. Sure Dani only gets a few wins a season but he is regularly top 4 where as Dovi is a consistent top 8. We'll see what happens from here but Dani is a known variable. I see Dovi and Hayden in more hot water than anyone else unless if they continue their hot streak for the next 4 races, ESPECIALLY with the edition of Spies.

Ben strikes me as a loyal type of guy however so I don't see him keen on looking to leave Yamaha for another deal. In my book that means someone has to leave or Ben agrees to stay another year at Tech 3...

Cest le vie


twitter @deftjester

I don't think Dani's going down anywhere.
You all seen how his bike was moving about under him, and He still ended up a good 2nd. He will still be on a top team next year.

Is not Pedrosa that Honda has a problem with Pedrosa, is Alberto Puig who Honda is not happy with being on the paddocks, reminds me a lot of my nosy ex mother in law that Puig guy...


The truth of the matter is that every rider wants to be on the best bike or with the factory with the greatest potential. As it stands right now Yamaha doesn't necessary have the best engine but they have a very well balanced bike, and 2 of the top 3 riders. With the switch to 1000cc in 2012, development will certainly start by the end of this year. Maybe Honda got the 800cc wrong or maybe their riders are not strong enough, but in any case, do we really think they will fail twice? Factories want riders with great development skills for 2012.
Rossi: best developper, Lorenzo: lack of experience, Pedrosa: too small to be the lead developper, Stoner: great for himself but not for team, Spies: no experience
With that said, Yamaha will want to hold on to Rossi for development purposes and re-sign Lorenzo. Honda needs a lead rider other than Pedrosa; the smart move would be to get Lorenzo and pick his brains. Ducati will want to keep Stoner and find a good experienced guy (Haden, Edwards, Capirossi...) you only need one true #1 rider to ride the wheels off the bike. 800cc is over, Yamaha won, with Ducati a close second. 1000cc is the targrt. My predictions:
Yamaha: Rossi-Spies/Lorenzo
Honda: Lorenzo- Pedrosa/Dovi
Ducati: Stoner-Hayden
Suzuki: Bautista-Edwards/Pedrosa

Stoner - The bike just became more user friendly and therefore un-Stonered. Although his speed is certainly there, and he publicly praises the bike he seems none too pleased with the package. I think he feels loyal to Ducati nonetheless as they supported him well through last year's mysteries etc. Yamaha won't make a play for him until all other options are out the window, and Yamaha has plenty of options. Stoner won't go for a Suzuki ride so that leaves Honda or staying put.

Lorenzo - Options galore. Comfortable and wanted where he is, and all factories pursuing him. Is he as up for the challenge of getting on a difficult bike (Honda, Ducati)and developing that into a winner as he thinks he is?

Pedrosa - He has to (and has been riding up to it) make himself shown to be able to podium no matter what. Only then will he stay in the hunt for a top ride. I expected him to be a sour puss after Jerez, but he seemed as pleased as could be. Likely his motivation is just to get on the box with the packge he has, and get into a better bargaining position for the summer. He'll take any factory ride and will not be the first piece of the silly season puzzle to be put in place, he'll slot in likely at the end - the last chair in the game of musical chairs.

Rossi - When he says that he feel at home with Yamaha, I tend to believe him. The factory loves him, he has a great team, everyone has been working together for years and to mess with that, you'd need to have a reason. I don't think he's as motivated by money as some others, nor the nationalistic ideal of riding the Italian bike. Rossi will stay put, barring the Yamaha letting him down a lot this year.

All I know is that I do not see Rossi in red.
How many times has he been courted and declined? Now that there is a pack full of aliens, he won't go through the effort of building a team again and risk watching the others pick up on his work at Yamaha and hit the ground running. Imagine how much it will pain him to see Lorenzo, of all people, carry on winning and doing crazy celebrations.

Not to mention there is very litle testing noadays, making the job even more complicated.

Why would Rossi give away the bike he built (with Burgess) to his main rival and setup at Ducati.
If he only has 3 years left, would potentially spending a baron year setting up a bike be worth his time...

I see him retiring, getting bored and coming back to the biggest payday ever on the Ducati...

Honda are definitely in the best position to force issues here.They have the least to lose and know it.Rossi at Yamaha is a given,but even they,along with Ducati would have liked to see where their riders are standing and performing around Catalunya time before waving contracts.So,yes,Honda have really set things in motion.I'm afraid Rossi will stay at Yamaha at the expense of Lorenzo.What Rossi wants Rossi gets.Ducati would like to see what sort of deal Honda offers Stoner,which would probably be the same as what they would offer Lorenzo,before making a move.Can they afford to wait,lose Stoner and grab Lorenzo, hoping he will click with the bike and team from the get go? High risk.
Common sense suggests : Yamaha Rossi/Spies, Ducati Stoner/Hayden,
Honda Lorenzo/Dovizioso. Pedrosa,I don't have any idea,unless he's willing to ride alongside Lorenzo and that could well be Honda's angle.mmm,another bricked up garage.
If it works at Yamaha,why not Honda? Suzuki and Tech 3. One of those outfits will have a British rider signed up for next year.Dorna would like that. Other satellite rides?
Elias back to GP,if all goes well in Moto 2,ditto Tomazawa.A good year by Simon in Moto 2 and a bad one for Barbera could see the Aspar boys swap seats.
The speculation is as compelling as the racing !

All sounds good. Can't see Rossi leaving. Although the retiring/bored/Ducati scenario seems plausible at some point. i think the return of the 1000 can not be overlooked. Proven success on a big bike is a premium for everyone,teams and riders. Ducati wants a Yank cause they like to sell Motorcycles in the big country.So Nicky seems safe(I wish him all the best). I say all of this because if there is a big stunning move to come out of all of this, it is Spies to Ducati. A thousand reasons why it won't happen, but millions more for (both sides) if it does.

I'm sure Ducati are paying careful attention to Spies. However, AFAIK he is on a two year contract, so won't be going anywhere for some time yet.

On contracts, it's quite rare for so many of the top shelf riders to be free agents at once. I wonder if they'll start to insist on one year contracts to give themselves a bit more leverage?

explicitly stating that he would "rather keep Valentino more than Jorge” is potentially rather telling, I think, in terms of the direction that Yamaha might be intending to take.

We don't know what is going on behind the scenes. The managements of riders aren't standing around twiddling their thumbs. Lorenzo's side may be asking for something much closer to Rossi money. Furusawa's statement, again if indeed accurately quoted, may be an indirect signal to Lorenzo's camp that, while he is highly regarded, he is not yet the legend and marketing treasure that Rossi is and therefore would not be rivaling him in compensation, at least not from Yamaha.

The statement may have been a measured step to hopefully give Lorenzo some much needed perspective, at least as far as Yamaha is concerned. Lorenzo, whatever amount of diplomacy he is able to demonstrate publicly, seems no less than a Michael or a Kobe in terms of the size of his ego. He may very well sincerely believe that he deserves no less than Rossi. And, while Yamaha - or any factory for that matter - rightly should want Lorenzo's services, Yamaha may be trying to get across to him, no easy task I'm sure, that he is not Rossi. At least not yet.

In terms of a worldwide maketing asset, there is no one else that rivals Rossi in the motorcycling industry, and this value would not stop with his retirement. Any factory would love to be associated with him for decades to come, and this consideration may be more important for Yamaha in the long run than who ultimately ends up winning the next one, two, or three championships, if Lorenzo does successfully usurp Rossi.

It does seem that Lorenzo wants to stay at Yamaha, so whether or not he is able to once again pass up Marlboro millions will be interesting to see. Regardless of whether or not he truly considers himself to be deserving of #1 status at Yamaha, Furusawa's statement, if taken completely literally and nothing more, can't feel at all flattering to Lorenzo, but would it be enough to begin to cause rifts? Or, will he get the more subtle message, not wholly focus on the literal, and be able to make the kind of well thought-out decision that he made last year?

Ah yes: "What if I had never tried it".

1/You can bet that if Stoner and Hayden finally crack the GP10's front fork early gremlins to make it a winner in at least 3 out of the next five MotoGP, Vale will run to Bologna...
2/Vale likes to be a semi-God and if he wants to retain that status and keep it a loooong time, he has to acquire it on italian machinery, not japanese.
3/ Italia nurtens its champions, Yamaha, ultimately, doesn't care. Their eyes are on the future: Lorenzo and Spies.
4/Money isn't the problem: Marlboro, or Fiat, of the Scuderia, even if every italian has to give 5 Euros from his own pocket, they will find the way to pay him what he wants.
5/Machinery: Burgess says what he wants, i'm sure he would love to open a GP10 and see how he can make that bugger go even faster...And Ducati already has a plan or two would Vale and Jeremy come.
6/I wonder what the Tribu Dei Chihuahu has to say about that. I'm convinced it's all about riding italian from 2011. And that alone equals for how many millions in Vale's eyes ?

Rossi he can run but he can't hide... :)

let's be honest..?

who wants to see the same riders in the same seats next year..?
the spice of life is change, and boys have to become men..bring it on.

I mean, VR is a notorious media manipulator, nothing is done by chance.
I think this is Rossi's way of making sure he at least has a strong option to stay at Yamaha should Lorenzo become world champion.
Or it could be as simple as he's sick of Lorenzo taking so much limelight lately what with his Jerez win and after celebration that Vale wanted his name up there.
Nevertheless I think he see's Lorenzo, Championship leader, as a very serious threat this year.
I believe this is smoozing up to Yamaha big-wigs before Lorenzo does.
Should Jorge win the Championship this year on equal machinary that would effectivly make VR 2nd rider in the Yamaha team.
Vale desperatly wants Lorenzo to go to another team which will hopefully give him a year (ie championship) while Jorge gets his head around his new bike IMHO.
Lorenzo is somehow behind VR's uncharacteristic early season contract negotiation public posturing I think.
As a Yamaha man and a fan of both riders I want them both to stay!

Over one championship, make VR second rider?? I dont think so, and i as much as you want both to stay, but Lorenzo will have to win more than 1 championship to make that kind of a statement, to be more exact he will have to win something, to have the main guy at Yamaha say that they want VR more than JLO is a very good indication.

you folk's seem to leave out sponsers in your guesses? 2 big sponsers (factory) are up this year along with smaller sponsers!

Who did Phillip Morris chase when Casey was out? Who has more $$$$$$$$$$$ Phillip Morris or Ducati?

Sponsers are a big pick in the rider!

Use your heads!!

I don't think yamaha are going to let rossi go, he's going to be remembered as one of the all time great riders, if not the best, and yamaha know that having rossi finish his career on their machinery is going to keep selling bikes for them long after he's stopped racing.
the only way i can see rossi at ducati is if both hayden and stoner are consistently finishing ahead of the yamaha's by the mid point of the season. i also think rossi can afford to delay his contract negotiations, even if the other aliens have already signed i think any manufacturer would make room for rossi. single bike team etc.

IF the stoner rumors are true my totally uninformed guess is lorenzo/hayden @ ducati, Pedrosa@tech 3, rossi and spies @ fiat

in case ya all wondered J.L. WILL BE ON A RED BIKE NEXT YEAR! Italian and RED does'nt mean as much as some of you think!

Tobbaco means more, who smokes the most? Yea you got it!

when Phillip Morris opens that BIG CHECK BOOK, It's all done! Can you folk's say retirement in 2 years for J.L.?

The Duc. is rideable this year, no question as Nick has done 2- 4th. J.L. will wipe Val in 2011 on BIG RED!

I expect everybody to end up staying exactly where they are. Except with changes at Yamaha.
- Rossi gets a one man Yamaha team in his own colours with his own sponsorship.
- Fiat Yamaha becomes Lorenzo and Spies
- Tech3 run one bike for Edwards

George. Phillip Morris/ Ducati have offered $10 million euros per year for you to ride 2 year contract!

What you say George?

Lorenzo/Pedrosa may move if anything happens.

Pedrosa fancies a yamaha and lorenzo wants a big pile of cash from either of the factory rivals. I think Lorenzo believes enough in himself that he could walk away from rossi's bike. We saw last year how he used ducati to get a better contract from yamaha, this year he will do it the other way around!


I think the outcome will be that every rider stays with their team. The contract lengths being the factor that may differ.