Valentino Rossi: "Ducati Was Not About Money, But About Preziosi"

The debrief at the end of the Brno test was the first chance the press got to speak to Valentino Rossi after the official announcement that the Italian had signed with Ducati. So naturally, after discussing how testing had gone, the subject turned to Rossi's decision to leave Yamaha and join Ducati.

The main reason, the nine-time World Champion said, was because he felt his work at Yamaha was finished. The bike had been turned around completely, thanks to the relationship Rossi had built up with Masao Furusawa (head of Yamaha's MotoGP project). But with Furusawa about to take compulsory retirement at the end of the year, the Italian was worried about the direction of Yamaha's MotoGP project once he leaves.

That, and the outstanding relationship that he has built up with Ducati's Filippo Preziosi over the years, was enough to convince Rossi that a move to Ducati was the right thing to do. It was not about the money, Rossi was keen to emphasize. It was about his belief that he could build the same kind of working relationship with Preziosi that he had with Furusawa in the past. 

Below is the full transcript of the debrief Rossi did with the English-speaking press.

Valentino Rossi: Is a good test for us, because we understand different things, and maybe we understand also why yesterday we had a problem. Today we changed quite a lot the setting of the bike and I have a better feeling with the front. So I'm happy, I'm confident we have found the right way to work in the next races. So is an important test. And I want to clarify that yesterday I say that we don't understand why, but the test of today is very important because we understand maybe why. We have one reason.

Q: What was the reason?

VR: Setting with the front, and for some reason on Saturday I was OK, but on Sunday I don't have the same front feeling. Today I was able to do good lap times. Unfortunately it rained, because I have to try another front of Bridgestone that Colin says is better, and I have another new soft tire, so maybe it's possible to also make 1'56. But anyway, we hope that this setting work also for the next races.

Q: Did you try any other new parts today?

VR: I tried some new parts for the engine, that maybe we can use in the last four or five races and are quite good.

Q: More power, more acceleration?

VR: A little bit more top power.

Q: And you think it's a step forward?

VR: Is a small step. Small but positive.

Q: You also tried the new Ohlins forks?

VR: No, I didn't try the fork, because Yamaha don't give them to me to try. So, yeah, yesterday was very upset for this, because we have 8 races to go, not 2 or 3, and I want to make like always 110% of my effort for the second part of the season with Yamaha, for the last races for me with the M1. And I expect also the same effort from Yamaha. They say to me that they don't use this fork in the next races, so is a fork for 2011. Is easy to understand, because the fork from the outside is different, so we will understand if this is the truth or is a lie.

Q: Since yesterday it's official you're going to Ducati, a dream come true for many Italian fans. What does it mean for you exactly?

VR: Is good. Is a good feeling, and especially because I avoid all the people in Italy from the man who sells the newspaper to the people who make the coffee who say "Why you not go to Ducati? When you go to Ducati?" So this is more easy [laughs].

You know, was a constant change, the change was not black and white, I go or I don't go. I started to think at the beginning of the year. At the beginning of the season I spoke to Ducati. I felt Ducati is a lot more different than in the past, a lot more open to fix all the important things of the contract together. So from that moment I start to think.

In general I have two or three important things. First, at the end of this season, Masao Furusawa retires, and stops work. So for me, it was important, this seven years Furusawa was always the number 1 of Yamaha. So without him, I don't know what will happen. So for this I was quite worried.

And also I have the feeling that my work here in Yamaha is finished. So the situation changed a lot. We did a great job, fantastic, great emotion, but we modified the situation from 2004 in positive, because now the bike is fantastic, maybe is the best one, and Yamaha have great riders, especially Lorenzo but also Spies is fast. So it looks like for me here, the time is finished, you know? So I need a new adventure, some new experience, but especially a new motivation. So, I decided for Ducati.

Q: You have already been in contact with Ducati in the past, there have been discussions years ago, and there was never a positive outcome. You said already that they have changed, they are much more open. What exactly is it that you need to work well with Ducati?

VR: So, with my experience I know what I need in the contract to be calm and work in the right way, and like I say before this time Ducati is a lot more open to find a compromise.

Q: Can you give us a details about what the changes were?

VR: Ah, yes, so, first I heard somewhere that it is a money choice, but I want to say that this is not true, because the money I will take from Ducati is exactly the same money as Yamaha offered. So there is no difference, zero difference. It means also PR days and days of work outside the Grand Prix and work into the weekend, all these things.

Q: How important is it to take your crew with you? Is that confirmed now?

VR: No, for me it's important but it is a crew choice, because everybody have different age, different program for the future, so they have to decide.

Q: What are your feelings? Will Jeremy come with you?

VR: I hope yes, but I don't know.

Q: Both you and Casey are switching bikes at the end of this year, will you be asking for more testing?

VR: I think there is already a plan for more testing next year, because everybody understands that like this it is not enough. So we test less than half than Superbike, more than less than half! So before we had too much testing maybe, but now, in general no tests. And also for this reason, I expect that Yamaha will let me try the Ducati in Valencia, because our story is a different story, and I give more to Yamaha from 2004 to now, I improve a lot the bike and all the team, so if they are fair, they have to say yes for my test in Valencia.

Q: Next year when you race the Ducati, you'll be 32, 7 years older than when you made your last change. Is this going to be more difficult than the last time?

VR: For me, is easier about bike, because for sure the Ducati is more competitive than the M1 in 2003, but more difficult about me, because I am older, and I have very strong rivals. But we have to try, no?

Q: You've always been curious in the past about trying the Ducati. What are you most looking forward to about riding the Ducati?

VR: So, I think that, I always speak with Preziosi, with Filippo, and I see in him the similar behavior that I saw in Furusawa in 2004. So he want me and he trust in me and he think that together we can improve the Ducati, so I'm curious. I think this year the bike become a little bit easier to ride, but I think we can modify the bike like we want.

Q: Casey now has not won for 11 races on the Ducati. Are you worried that perhaps the Ducati does not have the potential?

VR: For me, the potential of the Ducati is quite good, is similar to Yamaha, maybe the M1 is a bit better. So I change from a better bike to a little bit worse bike, but not a big difference.

Q: So you think it should be winning races now.

VR: I have to try, but I think it is not impossible.

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I know this isn't the place, but what options does Furusawa have?  Does he have to emigrate and change his citizenship to keep working?  Does he want to quit?

THOSE are the conversations I would love to have been in on (among Rossi, Furusawa, and Burgess)!  I can easily see how that would have Rossi nervous about the future, but isn't his replacement known and groomed by now?

Now that Rossi has heaped such praise on him, how could he not release him to test in Valencia?  ;-)

they don't have Jorge in the other pit box.

I love PR speak. It's funny to me how he's now saying "So I need a new adventure, some new experience, but especially a new motivation." Wasn't he just saying he wanted to retire with Yamaha? Didn't he tell Yamaha it was either him or Jorge? So since Jorge is beating him and has a hand on the title and Yamaha has chosen Jorge over him, the move to Ducati is for a "new motivation". I guess he didn't enjoy the "adventure" of his teammate getting equal kit and beating him.

Rossi is taking all of us for fools. If you are not motivated by your teamate out pacing you, even before the crash, than you've lost your competitive edge. He did beat him last year, and Lorenzo came back with a vengeance. If anything he should have gone for the tie break in 2011 and move on...Mission is not complete at all. Unless you are a die hard Rossi fan, you have to ask yourself if Rossi can beat Lorenzo on the Yam again.

I think some people are forgetting Rossi won the championship last year and the first race of this year before injuring his shoulder.He will be back it just takes more time than many people realize.I think his shoulder injury was more harmfull to this season than the leg.Your shoulder is a much more important body part when it comes to racing bikes.Rossi is still the only rider out there who can beat Lorenzo heads up when healthy.Next year will be very interesting,I think every one knows it will be a fight for who ever takes the tittle in 2011 .Can't wait!!!

We can only speculate on the effects of Rossi's shoulder injury. That's what makes MotoGP interesting, we never know all the details. Without the injury and the crash we would have been able to compare apples and apples.

And some people forget that Lorenzo was injured at the start of the year, missed testing in Malaysia because of it and only finished a second behind Valentino in Qatar.

True as that is no one knows the severity of either of there injuries only time will tell.But I do know from personal experience that the shoulder is no picnic and takes a long time to heal.Then follow that up with the leg and I think Vallintino is riding pretty well.It is hard to have a season that everyone is 100% that is part of racing and Lorenzo Pedrosa and others have had there share of injuries.May bee next year if all the stars line up we can all see every one at there best!!!!

This season Rossi won the first race and got injured training before the second. Since then he's been injured every race and missed 4, to all intents and purposes he can't win this season, why waste another season waiting for a chance to do what he's already done twice which is beat Jorge. It just deosn't make sense. You will always get people who think despite what Rossi has done he has to keep doing the same old things to justify his position, but, and this is only in my experience, most of the people of this opinion, feel that one championship from any other rider is enough to cement the place in the hall of fame..
Rossi has already done JLo to death, time to move on and even though Honda wanted him badly, and I myself wanted back on the honda(lesson learnt in my book) Ducati is the only real destination, he's not gonna move again after this so he had to go the Italian Marque. I wish him all the luck he's been the best thing to happen to Motogp in a long time and even with the new blood the most action is still to be found on the piece of track Rossi is occupying..

at what point did Rossi become worthy of so much respect? If we look back at clips of him winning his first 500 championship should we dismiss him as just a good rider? Did his performances only become great in retrospect?

..Well that's true. he wanted to finish career with Yam. But life changes, situation changes and also in our lives nothing is constant. i don't think it is imortant to point out what he had said some time ago. He doesn't like to have strong teammate? Sure. Who does? Everybody will go trough that some time. Even jorge in 8,10 yrs time. more mature drivers, older drivers with big position in sport sureley preffer teammate which is rather support than a threat. maybe for Vale this works better than current situation. is it so bad? Should it be condemned? I don't think so. He simply preffers to battle enemies outside a team and teammate like Colin, nicjy is a best option for his performances. Clear No 1 status. new challenge? For sure he needs just that. I see that it is not the same rider as he used to be. i think it is time to change, regroup, and attack. I'm convinced that Desmo 2011 will be inferior bike to M1 and honda. but somehow i know that being an underdog( wchich VR will be next yr) is something which takes the best out of vale. I think we may just accept his words that his job at Yam is finished. in many ways.. and that's it

It's Rossi that changed - or rather it's Rossi that took things for granted. Maybe he was under the impression that Yamaha would always let him choose his team mates? Could very explain why Edwards was with the factory as long as he was.

When it's Valentino it is always important to know what he says, he is seen as one of the most influential sportsman in the world after all.

The problem for Vale is that he has been given off a competitive 'aura' for his entire career but his falling out with Yamaha triggered by Lorenzo's competitiveness is contradicting it. In all motorsport the most competitive battles are always between the drivers/riders using the same equipment.

His first job was to retire as a Yamaha rider as far as I'm concerned.

As for his falling out with Yamaha it is a making of Yamaha's, there the one's that started it rolling.All Rossi did was take care of business last year, it was Yamaha who was hedging there bets by signing Lorenzo to a one year deal. ( Among other things) ,that put Rossi and the team in a some what insulting position.They built the bike that now dominates Moto G P Yamaha should have showed a little respect instead they acted just like Honda.Retire is what Rossi would have like to have done but not like that!!!Yamaha got greedy they wanted it all now they have lost one of there greatest PR tools to a rival ,to bad.

Of course, Yamaha wanted to sign with JL as he is the future and already showed the potential to be a word champ last year. Do they need the permission from Rossi to decide his teammate and the content of the contract? It is Rossi who gave ultimatum to Yamaha by telling them to choose me or Jorge. Should Yamaha have shown a respect to Ross by dropping JL? Please… they always gave Rossi what he asked even if it means against the team policy; keeping the wall, stopping sharing the telemetry, giving the upgrade parts before the teammate gets (Ask Colin about it). They leased their WSBK team and bike to him just to check his physical condition when it was widely reported that he already signed with Ducati. He deserved it because he transformed them from a loser to a winner? Rossi does not work free for even one minute. He sure demanded the value of the salary he thinks he deserves for his work. Just before Rossi arrival, Yamaha reorganized the team under Furusawa and heavily invested their resources to change M1. (Ask Furusawa). Rossi wanted new challenge and also did not want to face fast teammate in the same team, so he decided to move to Ducati. Does it make Yamaha greedy?

To me it's not a matter of Yamaha seeing Lorenzo's potential or Rossi giving his approval of any team mate. I think they just flat out wanted the most they could get for there money.If they could have kept both they would have been thrilled ,but if Rossi had not fallen training and Lorenzo was the one hurt then Lorenzo goes to Ducati. There was no way to keep both riders for another year they took the one that fit there budget.Yamaha could have and many believe should have signed Lorenzo last year for two years but let him sign the one year deal he now has.There has never been any doubt about either rider, the problem has always been how to best manage them .I feel Yamaha did a poor job,as for Lorenzo he will be just fine there so they have what they wanted . The only thing is they showed just how loyal they are and now Lorenzo has that in his bag come future contract time.Maybe Rossi did give them an ultimatum maybe but more likely they just did not want to pay for someone they felt was past his prime.Yamaha wanted Lorenzo for the future is that wrong no,but they could have handled it better after all Rossi did give them several championships including last year!!!! Poor job shame on Yamaha........

One thing that has interested me in this whole thing is the status of Colin Edwards and the significance or otherwise of the proposed move to Factory Ducati in WSB.

VR didn't develop the M1 on his own, apart from the great crew around him his other trusted helper was good old CE, claimed by many as one of the best or the best development guys in the world.

To me, the proposed deal for CE as a Factory Ducati employee is a huge statement of intent when you look at what's going on elsewhere;

Yamaha have had a lean time in the market place and don't have the income they used to, need improved sponsor financial input. lose the project head soon and have an admittedly very talented #1 rider, who, despite all his attributes has not developed a bike at the top level yet.

2011 will be a difficult year for them.

Honda are hungry, and desperately want to win an 800 era title that has eluded them completely so far. The way I see it, Honda are the biggest threat to VR in 2011. They'll put everything they can into making either CS or DP world champion.

So, looking at the noises coming from the Ducati garage and it looks like the mentality is changing - before it was always 'we give the rider the perfect bike and they have to learn to ride it'

Cant ride the bike? Sessions with a Shrink............ a thing of the past by the sounds of it. Ducati is going to listen to rider development.

Do Ducati want to win in WSBK? Of course they do.
Can Colin deliver the championship for them? Absolutley.

Will beating Honda in the next two years in MotoGP be difficult ? Hell Yes.
Time to wheel out the Big Guns. Vale, his crew and Colin working together again might just be the perfect plan.

If colin edwards is so called one of the best development riders out there why cant he set his bike up, every race its the same old story weve heard for years. glad hes gone and let someone new have a chance.

There is quite a big difference between developing a bike and setting one up for a race.

Edwards cannot do any development in Tech3 as the new parts go directly to the factory bikes. By the time the parts trickle down to Tech3 they are proven and the Fiat Yamaha data goes along with the parts.

As for setting up the bike for any given race weekend - he is getting it set up to go as fast as he can make it go, the problem he has is that the satellite bike simply isn't as fast as the factory bike. For one lap maybe yes, but not over a race distance.

Edwards is still extremely fast and will be mixing it at the front in WSB. Hope Haga stays around - would be great to see Corser, Haga, Vermeulen and Edwards doing battle again : )

Because the tire engineers (particularly the ones at Michelin) love him. Just follow the tire engineers, and you'll know who's a good development rider. Colin is obviously past his prime, which is probably why he's always chasing his race setup trying to find the last few tenths. But, he's still fast enough and most importantly gives consistent feedback. He's probably one of the few riders who can tell you what changed and by how much in a double blind test. The factory test riders can, but they can't turn competitive lap times. Then you have the geniuses like Rossi who can be fast and tell you something useful. It'll be interesting to see what Lorenzo and Spies can do with the development of the M1 without Rossi.

I wonder what it is that he "Needs in his contract" in order to remain calm.

"...........because the money I will take from Ducati is exactly the same money as Yamaha offered."

This is better than anything I could have imagined. Completely debunks all of the theories that Yamaha made Rossi angry like Honda had done in 2003.

So we are left with very well-informed Italian journos who say Rossi's total compensation at Ducati would be 15m euros while Yamaha had only offered him 9m euros. Rossi says that Ducati and Yamaha had both offered him the same pay.

This leaves two scenarios, imo. 1. The journos who broke Rossi to Ducati were wrong 2. The additional compensation he is allegedly getting at Ducati is coming from Dorna.

Like I've said before, if they pay 2m for Toseland over 2 years, how much do they pay the guy that commands 20% of the TV viewership in key markets?

Doesn't confirm anything, but that tidbit is more useful than any remarks about going to Ducati for the good of the sport and competition.

It changed the picture for me. Good luck to him and Ducati. I want to see him do it on his own. I just hope Burgess and crew pair up with somebody else..... somebody young.

"So we are left with very well-informed Italian journos who say Rossi's total compensation at Ducati would be 15m euros while Yamaha had only offered him 9m euros. [b]Rossi says that Ducati and Yamaha had both offered him the same pay."[/b]

Actually, he didnt say that. He said the money is the exact same money, not the same amount. It COULD be read as meaning Euros vs Euro as opposed to Euros vs Dollars. The currency is the same, not the sum. And yes, Rossi is clever enough to use this spin to paint himself as loyal.

I know I am spinning it myself, but any lawyer would tell you that there are holes in the language of that statement.

I suppose it's possible that Rossi did mean the actual paper not the amount, but he did close his answer with this,

"It means also PR days and days of work outside the Grand Prix and work into the weekend, all these things."

That quote suggests amount, imo. The amount was the same; therefore, he was only left to haggle about the number of PR appearances, sponsorship logo placement, and advertising.

It's weird isn't it? He wanted to end his career at Yamaha, but just a year later, he is leaving for Ducati b/c they offered him the exact same pay. The pretense for his departure is that Yamaha will forget how important he is when Furusawa is gone?! Yamaha's income statement will never let them forget. Italy is a major market, and Vale has appeal that reaches far beyond Italy. He's worth a mountain of cash just as a brand ambassador.

His work at Yamaha was done? I thought Rossi was chasing Ago to quench his own desire for personal accolades and to give Yamaha the most coveted record of all time. Sounds like Rossi now knows that he was sent to Yamaha in 2004 to rebuild the Yamaha GP program and to stop MotoGP from becoming an RC211V Cup. Mission accomplished. Yamaha knew the deal when Dorna subsidized Rossi switch, now they must let go even though the man is worth far more to them than a paltry 9m euros.

Job done. Now Dorna need Rossi to protect the value of the TV contracts, and to reinvigorate the sport by writing a fairy-tale ending to his career at Ducati.

The more I think about it "It's me or it's Lorenzo" was actually Rossi playing to the crowd. He knew that Dorna and the MSMA was going to cleave the Fiat Yamaha team to spread Stoner, Rossi, and Ducati across the 3 major teams. Either Lorenzo was going to be moved to Honda (not really what Dorna wanted) or Rossi was going to Ducati (score!) and Stoner to Honda (another score, imo). Rossi was setting the table for a showdown, but now that the reality of his departure from Yamaha is setting in and now that he reflects on his terrible tribulations with his broken leg, he is unable to deliver an Oscar-worthy performance that sparks controversy and heightens the competition.

What is it they say to actors? Break a leg. Oh the irony!!!

phoenix, we have gone around about this before. You are speculating way beyond any reason. This idea of Dorna paying Rossi has never appeared anywhere but in your posts. I again have to ask for any evidence that this is happening.

Dorna getting involved in factory contract deals is absurd and make no sense. Beyond that, it clashes with the clearly dominant relationship the MSMA and factories have over Dorna.

You are clearly a smart guy but you are sounding like a nut.

Yamaha and Ducati offered to pay Rossi the exact same amount. Two or three months ago GPOne reported that Yamaha agreed to pay Rossi and Lorenzo the exact same amount (9m euros). THAT'S SO WEIRD.

The MSMA have salary capped the sport (gentleman's agreement or private contract) during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. I can't believe it took me this long to figure it out. I was searching for something hidden, but it's been in the public domain for a week now. Ducati and Yamaha offered Rossi EXACTLY the same amount! Why? B/c they have both offered the maximum! Yamaha offered Rossi and Lorenzo the same salary. Why? B/c they offered both of them the maximum! Back when David was writing article on the leading edge about the dangers of the 2011 silly season, the MSMA were already in damage control mode. All of us agreed that the bidding wars would be bloody, but none of thought the MSMA would respond to the threat?

All of Rossi's conspicuous flirting with WSBK and F1 make complete sense. He's not down with this salary cap business and he's got insane offers from F1 and WSBK (I'm sure) to take his talents elsewhere.

Anyway, that explains it. Now let me get back with the "sane" people.

Maybe Rossi is scared of Lorenzo. Maybe Rossi's injuries are worse than we think. Maybe Rossi had a falling out with Burgess. Maybe Rossi forgot that he wanted to end his career with Yamaha. Maybe Yamaha don't care about Ago's record. Maybe.........*whisper* *whisper* *whisper* *twitter* *twitter* *twitter*

Maybe MotoGP is a business going through a serious recession. Maybe we have Rossi on record saying that he was offered exactly the same pay by Yamaha and Ducati. Maybe salary caps are very common in sports all over the globe. Maybe............forget it. I'm a nut.

Thanks for that article RedJet. The information about Dorna paying the teams is nothing new. The information has been circulating about the payments for a very long time; some people don't want to believe that MotoGP is run like F1.

I posted a direct quote from Ezpeleta that was featured in a Mat Oxley Roadracingworld article about the economic crisis. In the article, Ezpeleta says point blank that Dorna had increased financial support to the teams by 60% (probably b/c fewer teams were participating). Ezpeleta also explained that Dorna pay the manufacturers, then they pay the manufacturers a separate amount to produce the satellite bikes, then they pay the IRTA teams according to the cost of running satellite machines. The cost of satellite machines is what Dorna cannot afford, hence the CRT rules and such.

However, I've never actually seen the value of MotoGP's turnover! I'd always assumed that GP is roughly 1/4 the size of F1 (250m) but it appears that MotoGP is substantially smaller at just 200m this year and only 168m last year :-|.

Great article. Thank you Red Jet.

One more time: Dorna pays the satellite teams to get the bikes on the grid. We have known about this for a long time.

Ezpeleta and Dorna have never said anything about paying the factories because they don't and the idea itself is absurd.

They don't pay the factories, nor do they pay the riders.

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I wish I had time to get you up to speed on the last 30 years of international prototype motorsports. I can only ask you to do research on a man named Bernie Ecclestone and this agreement he created called a Concorde. It has revolutionized motorsport (good and bad) the same way sponsorship revolutionized FIM competition when they finally allowed it in 1968 (IIRC). see also: Bernie Ecclestone divide and conquer strategy.

Just as an anecdote so you can understand how extreme things really are in the world of paying factories, in F1, Ferrari get paid tens of millions of dollars more than everyone else just b/c they are Ferrari. Before the $500m dollars (per year) gets chopped between the FOTA teams, Ferrari get paid an undisclosed sum of money just for being from Maranello. In the last Concorde agreement, Ferrari were reportedly paid $80m championship bonus above and beyond the normal championship bonuses that extend to the other teams.

MotoGP is certainly not so senseless, but they use the same basic business model. Back in the day, the promoters paid starting money to get people onto the grid. Starting money didn't encourage consistent participation so Bernie decided to pay the teams (including factories) a set amount of money in order to guarantee their participation over a period of time.

Why do you think Yamaha had to find someone to replace Rossi (use his engine allocation) after only 2 races? b/c they are contracted to run 2 bikes. Why do you think Kawasaki left behind the token Hayate team in 2009? b/c they were contracted with Dorna through 2009. Dorna publicly said they had Kawasaki under contract through 2009. Why do you think everyone is talking about a Suzuki withdrawal after 2011? b/c they are contracted to participate through 2011.

Motorsports business 101. Contracts are not binding without consideration. In this case, consideration is money paid to the factories to bind them to the sport.

Furthermore, I provided direct quotes from Ezpeleta himself in which he explained that Dorna were paying the manufacturers to build satellite bikes and then providing satellite teams with the funding to operate the bikes over the season. This is perfectly normal. In F1 they pay the engine constructors extra money to supply engines, and then they pay the non-engine manufacturers to lease the engines over the course of 1 season. Explains the engine reliability rules, doesn't it?

Your condescension isn't warranted nor appreciated.

I'm not an idiot or a newbie here and I while I don't follow F1, I am not unfamiliar with its history.

I'll respond one more time to the quote from Ezpeleta that you have referred to repeatedly: he was very specifically talking about paying satellite teams to get the bikes on the grid.

Paying the factories has never, ever been mentioned by anyone but you. But more important than that, it simply makes zero sense: why pay a factory who is already investing some massive sum to participate? If you pay everyone, you haven't accomplished anything except increasing the overall spend as the factories will spend what they spend - giving them money won't make them reduce their budgets.

Paying the factories to increase their participation (adding more bikes) makes a certain amount of sense and remarkably, that is exactly what Dorna is doing. However, this is being done through the satellite teams and I cannot for the life of me figure out how that plays into some larger conspiracy where Dorna is manipulating rider contracts and moving riders from team to team.

Rossi's comments about the money being the same are not terribly informative. All parties know that Rossi isn't motivated by money nearly as much as he is by control. No factory was going to win Rossi's signature simply by offering the largest pile of cash.

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"Dorna already helps the indie (satellite) teams and pay a contribution to the factories for every bike allocated to non-factory teams." -- Mat Oxley; Road Racing World Sept. 2009

Everyone knows the factories get paid. We talk about the contracts everyday. Suzuki can't leave until after 2011 b/c they are under contract with Dorna. What do you suppose they are referring to?

Dorna give Denning brownies for cleaning his house?

I'm sorry to be condescending but this conversation is borderline insane.

Do you think the NY Yankees would allow MLB to sell their games for hundreds of millions of dollars without giving some of that money to the team? Hell no!!

Do you think the MSMA would allow Dorna to make $200m off of a sport that they invented (the MSMA control the 4-stroke rulebook?

One more time: the payments on behalf of the satellites are know. That is very different from Dorna paying the factories just to participate.

In years of watching every article I can find in English, I have never come across any mention of payments simple for participating.

What do you think Dorna bought the commercial right for? They expect to make a profit on them. Participation in MotoGP isn't a profit center for the factories so the idea of them seeking cash to show up just sounds absurd.

If the conversation sounds insane, I have to reflect that back. As of right now, you are the only person talking of payments to the factories and Dorna involvement in rider contracts - or more correctly, Dorna controlling rider contracts which puts you in a field of one.

Rats, the factory teams have ALWAYS been paid. In the early days of international race series, the promoters paid "starting money" to the teams in order to entice them to show up. It's been a part of GP racing (car and bike) since the beginning. Have you not heard the hilarious anecdotes about how the promoters would throw huge parties the night after the race. They would pay half of the start money to the teams/drivers/riders when they arrived at the party, and the other half after the part was over. It was how they used to force the stars to make VIP appearances before VIP appearances were in driver/sponsor contracts.

When Bernie changed the arrangement, he didn't stop paying the teams. He started paying them a lump sum in order to obtain participation over a period of time so they would have to participate at every round. It is very difficult to sell a race if you can't tell the promoters what teams will show up.

They've always been paid. For the last 30 years it's been in private contracts not public announcements to release the details about starting money.

Kawasaki was under contract in 2009 when they withdrew their factory team. Suzuki are under contract until 2011. Neither factory makes a single satellite bike. What do you suppose Dorna are giving them as consideration? Chocolate? Cigarettes? Booze?

They are under contract. What more do you need to know?! You want me to get a copy of the check?

Let's take a step back.

What exactly are the factories getting paid for?

And if they are getting paid, why would Kawasaki drop out?

Because Kawasaki were spending between 50 and 80 million euros a year on MotoGP, were receiving probably 4 million a year from Monster (most of which went towards paying John Hopkins), and because the money Dorna probably pays is only a few million (rather than the tens of millions paid to F1). That leaves a shortfall of somewhere in the region of 30-70 million.

Although I agree with you that Phoenix' tone is sometimes a little paranoid, there is a kernel of truth in the factories being paid. They're just not paid very much at all, certainly not enough for that to be a driving factor behind their participation of MotoGP, otherwise the series would look very different indeed.

C' is business...
Rossi has a value as do Honda and Yamaha..especially with, as manufacturers, they are in short supply..
Dorna won't backhand these guys because of sporting etiquette?
wake up..

Well informed Italian journos?? the same ones that are usually taken with a pinch of salt?? Rossi to drive 3rd ferrari springs to mind..
If you ask me we will never know the money VR went for. Yamaha offered Rossi less than the year before after he'd won them yet another title.
Personally I thought the comment that he was going to ducati for what he wouldn't stay at Yam for was a direct dig at the people/products whose profiles have been raised massively due to the enormous success he has brought the brand, ie it's not about money it's about respect and it should be.....

I think if you read between the lines, there has been a constant desire by most Italian fans to see Val competing on an Italian motorcycle. Even the great Agostini said at IOMTT that he hoped one day to see Rossi ride an Italian marque so it only makes sense that as Valentino goes into the twilight of his career that he ride an Italian bike. I think it's wonderful. Viva Italia !!

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

Look at Colin's stats. He is actually riding faster at the majority of the tracks this year over last, but qualifying and placing worse. That's why he is so frustrated and ready to bail to WSBK.

Just to let you all in on a little secret. Valentino Rossi is a very rich man...he could ride the Ducati for free, if he had to, or wanted to. It was good that he got so much money, he deserves it!

I predict he will win at least one more championship. He has more spirit in his little finger than most racers have in their whole body. He had no obligation (NONE!) to finish his career on a Yamaha.

I think it is an ideal situation, Italian rider on an Italian motorcycle...GREAT!

I just hope that J.B. and all of the rest go with him. Could be an awesome turn around for Ducati.

But does that include marketing, apparel sales, etc?

It's not just the fans that want to see Valentino on a Ducati; the sponsors are going to go bonkers, too. The entire "Rossi on a Ducati" thing will make up nicely for that other guy actually holding the title.

Late in negotiations, Yamaha could have raised their "Bid" for Rossi, but I'm guessing that the Salary from Ducati could be the same $9M (or whatever it was) from Yamaha, PLUS some Marlboro and/or Dorna $'s thrown in to get him up to the reported Salary of $15M. So, his statement is true....He IS taking same money from both manufacturers...but [conveniently] omits the piece of salary he is getting from non-manufacturers!
(Also, as d_woodward writes....Perhaps, on-paper the deal looks to be worth an *estimated* $15M, once you add estimated Merchandising profits due to Ducati/Rossi co-branded apparel, etc...but Base Salary is same from both)
Another scenario, is a possible "Performance Bonus" from Ducati and/or Marlboro that wasn't offered from Yamaha base salary package, that only kicks in if Rossi wins title. Thus, again, "Base Salary" is the same...but a huge kicker added to the Ducati deal.

I'm sure someone will leak details...just a matter of time.

"If colin edwards is so called one of the best development riders out there why cant he set his bike up, every race its the same old story weve heard for years. glad hes gone and let someone new have a chance"

Please correct me if I am wrong, but satellite teams are not able to make material changes to their bikes or recommend modifications. I was under the impression that they are allowed some leeway with geometery but can't deviate beyond several prescribed settings.
Anyone have input?

There are a lot of non-Italians that are going to appreciate seeing Vale on a Duc. I can't wait to see it next year.

The only thing better than Vale winning on the Duc will be Spies winning on the Yamer-hammer! Oh... my... goodness.


It is straightforward without too much PR blah, blah. For me it says everything. He just needs to animate himself with new challenge. He's gonna be 32 next year. it is slowly coming to an end. this his last shot for sure. And he wants to get himself as motivated as he can. In Yamaha he reached his limit. Jorge is young, extremly fast. he is dealing with M1 with fresh view and approach. Rossi and JB has been working on this bike maybe for too long now and they don't have open mind anymora. At least not in the same way as Jorge and Ramon Forcada. They need something different. Personally i don't know what is better for VR. To take his crew with him or try something new. Obviously this ozzie crew + VR is not the same effective combination it used to be.

But it's a lot easier to say it's not about money when you already have a lot of money, and are about to get even more.

In general a pretty much meaningless statement, one better left unsaid.

It is not about the money. The fact that Jorge got a raise to Vale's expense must have played a role, but that's pride, not money.
Less than a year ago he wanted to finish his career with Yamaha. Then Jorge started to make clear he, too, would like to stay with Yamaha and puts in the results to back it. Yamaha doesn't want to choose between the future and the legend. They can't guarantee Rossi will remain the no.1 rider. On top of this, his relationship with Preziosi gets better and better. Conclusion: Rossi's work with Yamaha is done.
Circumstances change, people change, opinions change, goals change. That's just life.

I have seen a number of posts where people claim Dorna is paying parts of riders contracts. Someone mentioned Toseland and now people are thinking part of Rossi's salary.

I heard in the past they have helped teams, but do they actually pay riders?

Is there any truth to this?

AFAIK, Dorna pay the teams to hire certain riders. We also know that Dorna meddle in the affairs of the under class by connecting riders with certain teams and sponsors b/c Casey spilled the beans. He said that Dorna had helped him climb through the feeder classes and that Puig had been an important factor in his career. Puig is a Dorna big wig.

Dorna payments to Rossi are just a logical offshoot of the subsidization program. If they pay millions to have a Brit in the series, how much do they pay for Rossi? I think Rossi is paid directly, but that's just me.

'Rossi fired himself from Yamaha' He tried to play hardball with Yamaha and Lorenzo and came off second best. Everything that has happened since is bandaging.

But at the end of the day Rossi in red is great for all concerned. The GP10 might not be quite on the mark but you can bet the factory is moving heaven and earth to make the GP11 a winner. Rossi will win races. Championship? As good a chance as any of the other Aliens.

Rossi basically says "Hey, I made your bike what it is today! You should let me test at Valencia!!!"

Shame it seems they're not going to let him. Really doesn't seem right. Give the guy the respect he is due and let him test Ducati!

Why would Yamaha want to enhance the position of a direct competitor?

Rossi has been good for Yamaha - and - Yamaha has been good for Rossi. Why wouldn't Rossi want to respect Yamaha and honor his contract to them?

The right thing to do is honor your commitments and your word. No?

Why would Yamaha want him to test it anyway? Wouldn't THEY rather have the 2011 factory rider testing it? Couldn't Rossi just half ass it and not give particularly valid info? I think I would hahaha. I mean obviously they don't want their competition getting more practice but why would they want their competition on their bike?

Honor his commitment and his word? They should honor his legacy and his commitment and let everyone move on. Contracts are broken/renegotiated/bought out all the time, even in this sport :)

So what you are saying is that if someone is important and has a "legacy" then they shouldn't be held to their word / commitments on a contract?

Or, just because others have broken their word (contract) then the door is now open and it is ok for anyone else to do so?

Has the meaning of the word honor changed from keeping your word to "they can't hold me to what I commited to because the situation has changed"?

Are the days of a man's word meaning something gone?

I sure hope not. :-)

Rossi expects Yamaha will let him ride the Ducati at Valencia, the day after the last race. Traditionally, this has happened, although a rider's contract is until 31-December of the year.

However, remember Honda did NOT let Valentino ride the M1 until after his contract was formally expired; he was still the hottest rider in the paddock and HRC didn't want him getting a jump on making the M1 a better bike. Like that slowed him down...

Unspoken: "Hey, you picked your next great thing (Lorenzo) who says he can develop a bike, so you're going to beat poor old used-up Valentino anyway, why not let me do my best on the Ducati?"

Meanwhile Honda has Stoner and Pedrosa- riders of very, VERY different stature- to try to fit on next year's bike...

I agree with SV650nut...Yamaha should make him honour his contract, he can get to test the Duc when everyone else gets to test their new machinery. In truth he'll need every second on the GP11...and the quote regarding the supposed increase in testing is an interesting one. I reckon he'll need it. I love Rossi, but even with his prestigious talent I can't see him mastering the GP11 animal in enough time to start challenging consistantly until best! It takes other mere mortals a year to get their heads around it. (I so hope I'm wrong on that btw.) What I can see is the GP12 1000cc bike becoming the bike to beat for the next 5-6 years.

Next year the development of the M1 will be interesting with both the internal changes and the unproviness of Jorge to influence and develop a motorcycle over a season without the influence of Rossi in someway. That's why I'm pinning for Spies to spoil the JLo / Yam love in and start handing his ass to him on a regular basis.

I can't wait until 2011 and we are only just half way through this season! I love Rossi and I don't particularly have a lot of love for the Ducati team but there is no question that Mugello next year will be something special, no matter how many races Rossi has won by that stage..or not?

Not only an extremely accomplished racer,but a great politician to boot.
Says some things,but ommits other issues.Very evasive when Stoner's name is mentioned.No doubt,that was one of the big stumbling blocks in early negotiations.
At Yamaha it became public regarding the me or Jorge issue.For sure,behind the scenes,it was 'me or Casey if you really want me'. Valentino obviously brings a lot more money and exposure than Casey.No brainer for a hard nose businessman.
Prezziosi had just as close a relationship with Casey,but as we all know,engineers and their accumen in that department never steer the ship,until it flounders on the rocks.
This move has been on the cards for a longer time than Rossi will ever admit.
Suppo's move to Honda was the first pointer.Then Tardozzi.
Burgess,and for that matter,Bayliss' loose association may also be nearer to closure than many think.
The politician said challenges.The competitor would have said...I'll see another round and as many as the ref will allow on the same terms.
As for hardcore Ducati men of long standing world wide,I doubt that this move sits very well with them.Does not sit comfortably with me for one.
Anyway,Casey,Jorge,Ben and a couple of others are in a comfort zone.
Poor old Nicky,back to the twilight zone.

This, IMO, allows for so many variables that it will, at least, not be a repeat of the 2009 season that 2010 seems to be overall. With riders changing teams, unknown movements in the garages and factories, it will make for a lot of interesting racing next season.

Now we have to wait for the "smaller" decisions to be made with the rest of the factory riders and the satellite teams(which I feel is more important).

It's all good for the sport no matter who is pulling the strings.

He just tried hard to have Yamaha doing what he wanted, but the Japanese factory didn't follow him down that alley and he had no choice (going back to the HRC surely wasn't an option) than to go to Bologna. I guess he must have been crazy at himself at first, and then sock it in and feels totally relax about it now.

This said, this interview gives a good perspective on how emotive/hard thinker/clever he can be and I think Filippo and him will turn the GP10 around and give that little extra that has been missing this year so far.

Thanx David !

Wish I had bought Ducati stock when you still could....this is a very smart move.
They get Rossi for about 5 million more than they paid Casey. I'm sure the sponsors are happy to pay at least half of that, if not all. So net cost is just 2.5 milllion or less.

(Let's forget for a minute that they will also sell 434.056 Ducati caps #46 next year)

Let's say they make €1000 profit selling one motorcycle, they would have to sell less than 2500 Ducati's per year extra to pay Rossi.

I'm willing to bet they will sell 1100 more Ducati's in Italy alone next year. Would you buy a Yamaha R1 next year if you were italian?

I honestly and truly believe that Nicky will have a drastically better year once Vale joins the team. I'm not trying to slight Stoner in the least. It's just that when Vale sees a problem in the setup, things get done about it. Stoner is a hell of a racer, but its been widely publicized that ducati sometimes blames the rider before the machinery. Now that Rossi is there, a multiple time world champion, a true and true Italian telling Ducati that something is wrong here and there you better believe things are going to change. I can only see this helping Nicky, not hurting.

Er, didn't you hear that Val tossed a hissy fit about Jorge getting the same kit as him? So why would you think Rossi would go to a new situation that's the same as the one he didn't want? Nicky wouldn't get what Rossi will have. Colin has even come out and said that he didn't have the same thing as Rossi his Yamaha factory days. Nicky will be a distant #2 and so will his bike. Being the huge Nicky fan that I am, I really hope that I'm wrong. But I haven't seen anything yet that would make me feel different.

And development and working on new bits is different from "set up". I doubt if Nicky could use Val's settings - they don't have the same riding style at all.

The reason that Rossi will be cool with Hayden getting the same spec machine as him is that Rossi knows he can beat Nicky with one hand tied behind his back. That certainly wasn't the case with Jorge; Rossi needed all the advantage he could muster by the end of their being team-mates.

And I'm pretty sure that Nicky's riding style is closer to Vale's than it is to Stoner. Casey has been in a field of one in terms of ability to ride the Ducat until very recently; and I think most of Nicky's apparent resurgence can be put down to the fact that Casey can't really be arsed this season.

I don't ever recall seeing an interview where Rossi publicly stated he was upset about what Lorenzo bike Lorenzo got. I have seen this stated on forums, I am not sure it's a fact that he stated it publicly even tough he may have felt that way.

Can you provide a link?

I replaced the article you quoted with a link, as it's important that sites get the hits for the material they write. Feel free to post select quotes, but please don't cut and paste entire articles.

An an unrelated note, the funny thing is that the article you quoted is actually based on an interview I did with Herve Poncharal back in May. Here's the original interview: Poncharal on CRT teams

Sorry about that, am new to this. Thanks for the heads up. Great site by the way. Excellent, non biased, informative. Love it.

Don't worry, it was a very relevant article. But I'm just trying to ensure that other people running sites don't get upset about their material being posted in other places. Some are more sensitive than others (and I have had no problems with Racers Republic at all), but links are always better than cutting and pasting. Thanks for the compliments, and thanks for contributing, we really appreciate it! 

It's hell getting old. After everything he tried behind the scenes to punk Jorge, Jorge has the last laugh, then along comes the American. That probably stings way more than anything else, the fact that you have reached your shelf life.

For establishing a first rate Moto site that provides in depth analysis, thoughtful discussion and in no way posts sensationalist stories. I was using crash and the thing was an ignorant free-for-all.

I'm sure we'll see a drastic increase in the performance of the Ducati next year. Finally they got what they wanted. An Italian Moto GP Champ on their Italian bike. They've been negotiating this for at least a year and a half to two years, coincidentally about the time Stoner's performances began to screw up. All they needed to do was make sure Stoner got frustrated enough to leave the team. The bike will be great next year, because it IS great already. Good luck to them all.