Valentino Rossi: ‘I hope I can race next year with a competitive bike’

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 27 June 2012 17:54

Valentino Rossi has again insisted his prime focus is on making Ducati’s struggling Desmosedici a race-winning package.

Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta was quoted in a recent interview saying that the 33-year-old will be riding competitive machinery in 2013, but refused to say with which manufacturer.

Rossi is understood to have held talks with both Yamaha and Honda but the nine-times world champion again spoke of his desire to return Ducati back to the top step of the podium in Assen earlier today.

Rossi has only scored two podium finishes in 23 appearances for Ducati and rumours are growing that he will split from the Bologna factory at the end of the season.

Ducati has already offered British rider Cal Crutchlow a two-year deal to quit Monster Yamaha Tech 3 and senior management have also spoken of their intention to keep Rossi.

Speaking about Ezpeleta’s comments in Holland, Rossi told MCN: “I read in the newspapers and I am not sure but I think it is something that he hopes and I hope that I can race next year with a competitive bike.

"But the first choice is to try and be competitive with the Ducati. We need to increase the performance of the bike and try to improve the results in the next years with the Ducati.”