Rossi To Test At Brno On Monday, To Announce Future Afterwards?

Valentino Rossi's return to racing looks increasingly likely to take place sooner rather than later. After testing a Yamaha R1 at Misano last Wednesday, the Italian is now scheduled to test James Toseland's World Superbike R1 at Brno on Monday afternoon. Rossi is due to fly in to Brno tomorrow, and prepare for the test in the afternoon.

The test will be interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, of course, it will be a measure of Rossi's fitness, who now seems to be pushing hard to return to racing at the Sachsenring next weekend, rather than Brno a month later. Rossi's return is being eagerly awaited by everyone in the MotoGP paddock - and especially by Dorna, who are struggling with falling TV ratings. Rossi will also be using Pirelli tires, rather than the Bridgestones he used at Misano, making a direct comparison between Rossi's times and those of the World Superbike riders much easier, though Rossi is still carrying an injury to his shoulder and is recovering from a broken tibia.

Even more interesting is the fact that Rossi has scheduled a press conference to be held directly after the test. The most likely subject for that press conference is a decision on whether Rossi will race in Germany or not. However, interesting speculation based on an insider tipoff suggests Rossi might be ready to make an announcement on his future as well. Rossi is widely expected to announce his move to Ducati soon, and the press conference on Monday seems like a perfect occasion to do so. Coming on the day after the World Cup - to be contested between Holland and the home of his deadliest rival, Spain - Rossi may see such an announcement as a way to salvage some Italian pride after the Azzurro were knocked out of the World Cup, not even managing to get out of the group stage.

That Valentino Rossi is going to move to Ducati seems almost certain. That he will at least attempt to race in Germany seems almost as likely. Whether he will announce both of these things in Brno on Monday afternoon remains and we will have to wait until then.

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Who makes the salary decisions at Yamaha? I dont mean the negotiations, or the person that approaches the riders, but the actual decision to lower Rossis wage and increase Jorges.

Does it really matter? Even if Rossi got a pay raise would he still really want to stick around, developing the bike for his toughest competitor?

In my opinion it's pretty disappointing that TV ratings would be down just because Valentino Rossi isn't racing. If the people not currently tuning in only watch motogp to see one man, rossi, race, then what exactly do they even tune in for in the first place? It's as if they watch more for the celebrity than the actual racing itself.

When I went to Laguna Seca last year, the grandstands were a sea of yellow. There were a few actual italians decked out in Rossi gear near me, but other than that, just all these americans wearing the garb of "the best". What's more, is that it was 4th of July weekend! There were two americans in the race, so stop cherry-picking for the best and root for your own racers. I bet 3/4 of those yellow-clothed wouldn't have even been able to tell you what town Rossi was from. (Although darn it was funny to hear everyone in the stands boo pedrosa when his name was announced on the grid, although him winning the race was pretty much the middle finger back to those fans lol)

Also, just my quick opinion that this seems foolish foolish foolish of Rossi to come back so soon, it's not like a shoulder where you can try to baby it in a fall or do your best to turn away from having it hit, this is a full on leg... 1/4th of your body practically. He could be in serious trouble if he has another crash, god-forbid a highside. He's undoubtedly lost so much fitness being laid up, Lorenzo's #1 by almost 100pts, so Rossi's championship should be toast. He has nothing to gain and everything to lose, and all the great people of this community have said as much before me, so what on earth is going on and what is pushing Rossi to do this?!?

Some people think the ratings might be affected by the World Cup as much as Rossi's absence so it may be impossible to tell, especially if he comes back just after the Cup ends.
I was at Laguna last year too and found the anti-Pedrosa hate to be unseemly. I am American but I refuse to be guilted into liking American riders just because we live in the same country. I like Spies a lot because he is really talented and, in my opinion, very smart about racing.
As for Rossi, watching him made me fall in love with the sport. There is undeniably something about him that resonates with people. That said, I love the sport and not just Rossi. I continue to watch with the same enthusiasm as before.
I too scratch my head at Rossi's mania to return but I am selfishly glad that I may get to see him race at Laguna again.

TV numbers have dropped by 30% in Spain, 50% in Italy. Those drops are too big to be caused by the World Cup. Especially in Italy, who were knocked out of the tournament early. 

Everyone loves a winner. Rossi is a superstar among superstars, not only because he wins, but the way he wins and his relationship with his fans. It's perfectly understandable. Here in the states, the same thing happened in professional golf, when Tiger was out.

I like to think that he is pushing hard because of the need to race or at least to ruffle Lorenzo's feathers. There is the matter of glory as well. To come back so quickly and win races would be a real achievement and also a slap across the face of Yamaha for paying Lorenzo more money than the mighty Rossi.
One thing is for sure... I can't wait to see Ben on a Factory Bike.

i think the ugliest thing that a "pure racing fan" can do to the sport is to belittle other fans of the sport, for whatever reason. valentino rossi has fans who don't even like motorcycles - why is this always cast in a bad light by "real" race fans? you think people like him because he's an easy pick for a winner? c'mon! you'd have to be absolutely soulless not to see why he has one of the greatest appeals in any sport today.

let the fans be fans of whatever they want to be and if you're such a friggin purist, than pay attention to the racing, not the number of yellow shirts in the stands.


p.s. valentino rossi made my wife love motorcycle racing - for that i am forever grateful to the man :P

I agree with most of the comments so far.

Vale is a real star in MotoGP and I'm sure well over 95% of the fans have missed him. He will eventually end his magnificant career and the sport may loose some viewers. Oh well.

I've tried most everything to get my wife to like motorcycle racing. Getting her a date with Vale might just be the ticket. I wish you had revealed that tip years ago popmonkey.

Hurry back Vale - your right footpeg misses your pre-race carress.

Why test on Pirellis? That is the real question, imo. Is it simply b/c Bridgestone can/will not supply, or is it more significant?

Why test an R1 on Pirellis and then hold a press conference about his future at Brno surrounded by WSBK personnel?

This has my mind reeling. He's either A) trying to make it appear as though he is about to switch to WSBK to force Dorna to pay subsidy to Yamaha (if they have indeed withdrawn it) or B) he really is getting ready to take a massive amount of money from Infront to switch to WSBK (an offer that has been outstanding for a long time).

He wants to race 1000cc bikes without these stupid fuel rules. Where better than WSBK?

I can't bring myself to believe it at this point, but it looks like Rossi is staging a switch to WSBK in order to pressure Dorna since everyone knows F1 can't happen without 3-car teams.

Not that I think that's a possibility but what kind of a trip would it be if Rossi pulled what Melandri is rumored to be doing. A year in WSBK developing a 1000cc bike then a return to MotoGP. It would be the ultimate ego boost to go do that and beat Biaggi to a title one more time. Biaggi's head might explode.

It's not about developing a bike or equipment. Imo, Dorna are not giving Rossi what he wants, the "it's me or him" didn't work on Yamaha. The F1 chatter didn't succeed to sway Dorna. Now he's cozying up with WSBK like "don't think I won't do it!".

Imo, Dorna have pulled the plug on his subsidies unless he moves to a new manufacturer for 2011. This is an angry shot across the bow of Carmelo Ezpeleta. Rossi has leverage now that he's seen the TV numbers drop off.

We all know he's on an R1 b/c testing is banned. It's the decision to ride Pirellis and then hold a big press conference at a circuit immediately following a proper WSBK test. It's very strange. I could be off my rocker, but I think he will announce little about his future plans for 2011. He might even bring up the possibility of WSBK.

Perhaps my radar is off, but I think this theater is part of Rossi's negotiations with Dorna. They will never let him leave MotoGP, would they? Rossi would never leave MotoGP, would he?

They are both posturing, but Dorna posture behind closed doors while Rossi sends his messages in public. I suspect Rossi is caught in a bad situation. He doesn't want to go to Ducati b/c of the pressure and the media nonsense he will have to deal with. He doesn't want the possibility of losing to Lorenzo while still at Yamaha for a big pay cut. He can't really go to F1, and he probably doesn't want to go WSBK.

The only thing he can do is put on a crazy pageant and hope he spooks Dorna into giving him what he wants. I believe he wants a big fat subsidy to continue racing MotoGP at Yamaha, or perhaps he wants a lot more to jump over to Ducati. One way or another, he's doing a great job with the crazy pageant part of the equation.

i'd love to believe that rossi was considering a move to wsbk, but just cant. purely for the fact that it doesnt have the same level of competition as motogp.
Nothing against the WSBK riders but motogp has the premier riders in the world and i don't see that changing anytime soon. if rossi did move to wsbk i think it would be seen as him not being able to handle the pressure from the new kids in motogp

Rossi must make Dorna believe that he will move to WSBK if he doesn't get what he wants. He's probably not contemplating a move to WSBK at all right now.

What does Rossi want from Dorna? What subsidies?

Rossi is going to Ducati. There is absolutely no chance of him going to WSBK and no one negotiating anything with him believes he is even considering it.

The WSBK-spec bike was just to create some spectacle - "See, even an injured Rossi is faster than the fastest WSBK rider".

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Who knows precisely what Rossi wants. Dorna pay subsidies to teams based upon the marketability and commercial value of certain riders. Toseland was said to be worth 2m b/c he was vital for the BBC contracts. I have no idea how much they are paying Rossi or the team he rides for to keep him happy. Apparently, he controls about 20% of the entire audience.

Maybe he's pushing Dorna to subsidize his own Yamaha team with Burgess, Brivio, and Furusawa as his own personnel technical consultant. Yamaha can barely bring themselves to run 4 bikes. A 5th bike in full factory spec for Valentino Rossi would require quite a bit of money from Dorna.

Actually, that sounds pretty reasonable. He's holding out b/c he wants his own Yamaha. Dorna want him to go to Ducati.

I have never seen nor heard of any subsidies paid other than to keep the satellites on the grid. You are going to have to come up with a least a reference to a rumor that such things exist.

Rossi isn't doing anything nor extorting anyone, he is going to Ducati so there is no need for speculating about crazy theories of new Yamaha teams.

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I think your rocker is just fine even if the radar may need a bit of fine tuning..

Has Rossi finally got the hump with GP? We know his feelings re. Honda..Yamaha are clearly viewing Jorge as their future and have delivered a slap in the face. These two are the main players at the MSMA who have steadfastly refused any concrete ideas of changing their own rules to encourage competition and give the riders back control of the throttle grip..something Vale has been vocal about. Dorna seem incapable of wresting back control of their series by making some hard nosed decisions and perhaps he IS exerting subliminal pressure in an effort to concentrate minds on the 1000cc rules, of which clarification is long overdue.

Ducati, I think, can take or leave GP..they were the ones who torpedoed the solidarity of manufacturers in WSBK when the Flamminis stopped them making the rules there and stayed and raced...could they be prepared to ditch GP with Rossi, and let's not forget Philip Morris and maybe Fiat, hunkering down with Infront?...thereby giving an already great series even more credibility and the strength to possibly topple Dornas dithering GP alternative, consigning them to the scrapheap along the way and emerging as the undisputed No.1 racing class?..
Yamaha and HRC especially would get over it, they'd have to, and join up racing in a championship that's more relevant to their R&D for street bikes and would save them money, if not face..

Are Rossis R1 tests, which I think make him the only top racer to ride the bike on Bridgestones and, after today, Pirellis too, an evaluation process as part of a role that could see him as a consultant and shareholder on the Infront board..?

Call me daft if you like, but it is unusual and an a lot of Italians seem to be circling around the campfire..

What about not having anything to compare times to with an R1 and Bridgestones? Last time out they said he ran xx.x laptime, but because he was on Stones, no one could validate if that was fast or not. Well, in order to judge his fitness, he needs to know if he's fast or not.

I think he knows he's fast..
but I take your point about his fitness at race pace..which is why Brno is ideal, same everything. are reprting a time of 1'59.7"..same as Maxs best in race two yesterday.

That is precisely how I'm interpreting Rossi's recent pageantry as well.

A lucrative financial offer from the Flamminis is almost a foregone conclusion since they have a maverick reputation and an affinity for all things/people Italian.

I also believe Rossi's testing pageantry is the result of political pressure from Dorna. I believe Dorna are "forcing" him to move to Ducati by changing they way they subsidize his salary or perhaps the Dorna checks have stopped unless Rossi returns at Sachsenring.

I don't have any conclusive answers, but I don't believe we can take these tests at face value.

phoenix1, I have got to call this out again. Where did you get this information about "subsidies"?

There are no subsidies paid to anyone but the satellite teams in order to help them pay for lease bikes.

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Toseland was allegedly worth 2m per year to Tech 3 b/c he was instrumental for the BBC TV contract. It's not a myth, it's part of the business. Home riders increase the value of TV contracts. If Dorna need a certain nationality, they give the teams incentives to go hire them.

Pramac probably get paid to keep Kallio around b/c he is important for the Nordic markets. LCR probably get money for DePuniet b/c he is critical in France. I'm sure a German rider would probably be subsidized as well.

If they pay 2m for Toseland b/c he is good for the value of BBC contracts, how much do you think they pay for Rossi? 10m? Does Rossi look like the kind of naive person who would care to negotiate his commercial value?

How do you think he got Bridgestones? He batted his eyes and asked pretty please? Rossi is constantly negotiating with Dorna.

Eurosport brodcasts most of the races in HD when it's not cycling, bowling, snooker or some other thing not even worth calling a sport...

If he is going to announce a switch to ducati why would yamaha let him rip around on the WSBK spec R1 just before hand?

Minor Rant about 'The Show':

As to TV ratings. I understand it's gone pay per view in spain from another posters comment last week. Here in NA we have the incredibly horrid pay extra channel SpeedTV. If it wasn't for the unspeakable internet culture there would be far fewer fans of the sport this side of the ocean. There is a marketing model called 'freemium'. Dorna should look it up in between making bad rules (rookie rule, engine rule, testing rule, banning tech.. so on).

It could also be that the races are just this side of boring with the removal of technical advancement, the megalomania display know as the Lorenzo show, 15 bike grids and the stale, corporate muzzled power drink waving personalities of most riders. There is no angst. There are no heroes and villains. There are no rivals. There's no Rossi vs Biaggi, Schwantz vs Rainey, Roberts vs Sheene... There's just (or was) Rossi (the beatles) and Lorenzo (the coverband).. that dark/light thing was a real insperation. It's at the point where the spec engine moto2 class is more interesting. Today's Brno SBK race with Max the pirate and a full grid was a breath of fresh air. Crutchlow's tire punching and shouting F**K! when he pitted made me smile to see a human.

Is our sport 'maturing' in to something as mind numbing as F1? Are the pilots being replaced with robots in redbull hats? Will contract and rule book negotiations provide more conversation points then the on track action?

Forgive me if i upset any one's sensibilities.

And finally, what's this about Lorenzo being paid more then Rossi? Did I miss something? Maybe i need to follow him on twitter *wink.

Forget sensibilities! Forgiveness?! Your speaking the truth my friend never apologize for that! You have heart and that is whats missing in MotoGP! Rossi has it and that's why everyone loves him, Im sick of people saying he's intimidated by Lorenzo and thats why he's going to Ducati or where ever. You'd be pissed to if the bike you put your blood and sweat into being developed was put into the hands of your rival, that bike was sh*t before Rossi and Burgess got ahold of it! Then to top it off as soon as Yamaha sees that Lorenzo is capable of winning they cut Rossi's pay and offer Lorenzo almost twice as much! Not one of you Rossi haters out there can tell me you would want to stay with Yamaha if that happened to you! Put that in your pipe and smoke it! No apologies here! Still love you Rossi no matter what you decide to do!

The bike belongs to Yamaha and they have the right to let anyone ride it they please. It is Rossi's job to improve it, something he is well paid to do.

For everyone else in the paddock normal rules apply- if your teammate beats you he is the #1 rider. When Lorenzo starts to do that why is it a big deal when Yamaha rewards him? Before the accident Lorenzo was leading. What's the problem?

Rossi usually had rossi-parts-and-tire-testers instead of competitors as teammates. Now with spec tires and a fast teammate the competition is closer than ever before, even with a wall between garages. I am interested to see if Rossi can overcome this challenge though fast riding or will he have to revert to behind the scenes machinations to get any advantage he can from his marketability as a showman.

Nobody can deny Rossi's talents but if he wants continued #1 status he should lead the championship. That is the foolproof way to keep on top. Except for NH that is.


i compliment rossi and lorenzo and throw a dig at honda too.

rossi is great but racing teams and their mangers have always been a 'what have you done for me today' type. for whatever reasons lorenzo can answer that well and rossi not so well these days.


>I understand it's gone pay per view in spain from another posters comment last week.

No way. Completely for free, from FP1 to the race, all the classes.

>what's this about Lorenzo being paid more then Rossi?

AFAIK, the rumour is Rossi was asked to accept a salary cut of some 5 millions (from 14 to 9), while Lorenzo would receive 5 extra millions (from 3 to 8 IIRC).

I am sure every rider in the motogp grid rides with his heart. Not just Rossi. And, everyone does not necessarily loves him. He is one of the 4 alien. If anyone of them is missing, the race is not the same. If anyone wins with big margin, it is still boring. The same things for Rossi. I read somewhere that the TV raging at Cataluniya was not so bad. But, if they have three consecutive races with Lorenzo dominance. The tv rating should be affected with or without Rossi?! Probably, Italy is exception. What does Rossi want from Dorna? 1000cc from 2011? Is the manufacture ready to supply it from next year? If he wants to go to the WSBK, he should go, but do not expect to get paid 12M by the Xerox Ducati by competing against the ex motogp riders or the young ones who are not ready to go to the motogp..

... Rossi on Pirelli tires and everybody is like "OMG he's gonna race SBK next year!" C'mon
do you really think Rossi would go to SBK? Maybe when he's 40 and becomes a back marker (though that doesn't ever seem likely either). Maybe the Pirelli's just work better on the R1? Maybe Yamaha wanted to see what he could do on an SBK bike with the same tires? Maybe Rossi is so tired of being out and so competitive that he wanted to go out and destroy all of Biaggis lap times from this weekend?! Just to give Biaggi another slap. SBK is too small of a venue for Rossi. He needs a world stage like the GP. Rossi would go to F1 before he went to SBK.

I know the rumor mill is hot about a Rossi->Ducati announcement today. But think about it... Yamaha let Rossi test on Crutchlow's R1 last week at Misano, and Yamaha is letting Rossi test on Toseland's R1 today. Is Rossi really going to turn around and announce he's leaving for Ducati at the same Yamaha/Brno test?

Rossi has much better form than that. If Rossi goes to Ducati, the announcement will be a big splash in Bologna or at a MotoGP event.

I agree, Rossi seemingly has to much class to make an announcement at a test that is obviously being backed by Yamaha. BUT!

I also agree with many others that Yamaha has delivered a slap in the face (and wallet) to Rossi. So I feel that he has the right to make any announcement he feels is proper, anytime or anywhere. I realize that he is still being paid by Yamaha, but he should still have the right to freedom of speech.

The announcement has to come sometime - somewhere, and he owes it his fans to let the truth be known ASAP.

I thought the same about him testing on a Yamaha, courtesy of Yamaha and then turning around and saying, I am off to Ducati. Also, all this speculation about him getting a pay cut, Lorenzo getting a big raise. This is one of those things that if it's repeated enough, people start to believe it. I imagine very few people would actually know the amounts of $$ on the table. There may be some truth to it, but I don't think anyone but Rossi and few people at Yamaha know the actual offer.

As for him going to WSBK?? I thought this site was supposed to be about intelligent debate.

GP One is reporting the following re: Rossi's test times

And a few tweets from Davide

# Just finish the 2nd run.. 18 laps so far.. Quite fast already! Vale is talking about bike & not too much about leg and shoulder.. Good sign! 30 minutes ago via UberTwitter

# Valentino completed 1st run. The shoulder seems better than Misano and it could be due to a different track, less stressful.. We continue about 1 hour ago via UberTwitter

# Vale is listening last instructions from SBK Team before to start riding.. We'll be soon on the track! about 2 hours ago via UberTwitter

# We are going to test again today a SBK in Brno with Valentino. Is an important to decide to race or not this weekend in Germany. We'll see. about 5 hours ago via UberTwitter

Looking forward to the press conference as much as the best lap time.
My guess is that the only announcement will be that he intends racing this weekend providing he gets the medical clearance.
Good on him.

A foto from today over at MCN shows him on crutches. Another has him looking quizically at the machine he's about to ride.

I guess it's possible to ride a motorcycle with a badly injured, lame leg. Maybe it's even possible to race like that.

But it seems like a crazy idea to me.

Davide reported a few minutes ago:

Vale finished a good testing in Brno with SBK. 46 laps/best lap time in 1.59.135. Feels tired at the end but shoulder and leg coming better

According to, Rossi has broken the lap record for superbikes, doing 47 laps with a a best time of 1'59".1, compared to Crutchlow's 1'59"291.

he's going to have biaggi's ride (and championship points) any day now. then off to develop the 1000 aprilia 2012 gp entry before signing a 10 year contract with NASA to be the first man to walk on Mars.

after all, he rode a bike with pirellis...