You have no idea whether Dovi "went for the paycheck" or not. No-one on here knows the bloke, that's just forum bullshit.
He wanted the factory M1 ride. He wasn't going to get it. If he stayed with Tech3 he was going to win nothing on a satellite bike against the current riders on the factory bikes. As good a rider as he is, I'm not convinced he would have won anything anyway on the factory M1, given the years he had at Honda and couldn't beat the same riders then as he has to now, plus one more in the shape of Marquez.
However, he obviously believes he can win, given the right bike and right circumstances. So maybe he thought the only chance of those circumstances happening was to try and make them happen. Go to Ducati as lead rider and try and help them turn the bike around into something that can consistently challenge for race wins. This year is the building process, next year make it happen, seems to be their approach and it seems a sensible one. No-one at Ducati has said there will be an immediate turnaround and they'll be winning within 3 races.
The problem with Rossi and Ducati was the PR that surrounded his arrival and the claims that the bike was good but the departing rider was lazy in his approach and he and his crew didn't have the ability to set the bike up properly. Burgess even dismissed the question about the front end problem when asked an blamed Stoner for riding too hard too soon - "do they have a front end probklem - you lose the front becasue you've pushed too hard - with VR on the bike we can set it up ao it has more feel"
So yes, in that first test when he must have thought 'oh fck' there was immediate pressure as he couldn't ride the bike as it was and he wanted it changed. You saw the changes unfold. The longer it went on, the more the pressure built up and spilled out into public spats, especially after Qatar last year.
Herve has a valid point.
This year the spotlight will be on Yamaha. There will be far less of a media frenzy surrounding Ducati this year, the main focus will be from the more extreme Rossi fans who will be willing them to fail to vindicate their man. The main media spotlight will be over at Yamaha.
You never know, Ducati may just quietly turn it around.