Valentino Rossi has given his views on a potential return to Yamaha’s factory squad in 2013, with speculation rampant in Laguna Seca that he will reject a new two-year offer to remain with Ducati.
Rossi has been negotiating with Yamaha and a return to partner bitter rival Jorge Lorenzo could even be confirmed prior to the next round in Indianapolis.
Rossi left Yamaha at the end of 2010 to embark on an ill-fated switch to Ducati that has turned into a personal nightmare for the nine-times world champion.
Two podium finishes in 27 races and no sign of any major progress with the struggling Desmosedici have shaken Rossi’s faith in the Bologna factory to deliver the competitive package he desperately craves to end his career on.
During his post race media debrief at Laguna Seca yesterday, MCN quizzed Rossi about his thoughts on a Yamaha return.
MCN: At this stage of your career is it too much of a risk to stay with Ducati?
Rossi: “It is a big risk also because I can’t wait to make the decision. If not (Andrea) Dovizioso becomes very angry (laughs). But at the same time the problem is to wait for Audi and Ducati. It is very early to understand who will come to help Ducati, so I have to make a bet without seeing the situation very clear.”
MCN: Is the choice now just between Ducati and Yamaha?
Rossi: “I also have a third option but it is not in the factory team. I consider this option but for sure I want to stay with a factory bike.”
MCN: How would you feel about stepping back to Yamaha and being with Jorge again?
Rossi: “My feeling has changed a lot because the situation has changed. I had some problems in the past with Jorge, especially because I was angry with Yamaha. After all I did for Yamaha they put in the team a very strong team-mate so I was p****d off with Yamaha more than him. Now it is a different situation and I understand that Yamaha made the right choice for Yamaha. This is not a big problem.”
MCN: If you go to Yamaha, for the first time in your career you will be the number two, and second to Lorenzo. What do you think of this?
Rossi: “This is another important thing to make the choice because in Ducati I can be the number one and in Yamaha have Lorenzo. It is another thing to consider.”
For more on Rossi’s future and Lorenzo’s reaction to his potential return to Yamaha, see the August 1 issue of Motor Cycle News.