Sunday’s final MotoGP round in Valencia is almost a sideshow as the world awaits Valentino Rossi’s much anticipated return to Yamaha in next week’s traditional two-day test session.
Rossi will end his two-year Ducati nightmare in Spain on Sunday before moving back to partner newly crowned world champion Jorge Lorenzo in Yamaha’s official factory squad.
The 33-year-old Italian spoke of his excitement and anticipation ahead of the start of 2013 testing at the Ricardo Tormo track on Tuesday in the pre-event press conference at Valencia today.
The nine-times world champion, who won 46 races for Yamaha between 2004 and 2010, said: “It will be very interesting on Tuesday, especially for me to try and understand at which level I can achieve with the M1 and to see which feeling I have after two difficult seasons. It will be very interesting and I can’t wait for the test.”
Rossi has scored just three podium finishes in 34 races for Ducati and despite such a lack of success, he says leaving the Bologna factory will be an emotional experience.
Rossi, who was part of a four-rider pile-up at the first corner in Valencia last season, added: “This is the last race with the Ducati and we arrive at the end of this story between us that unfortunately never gives a good performance that we expect.
"It will be difficult on Sunday because after you work for a long part of the year with the same people and you have to stop and change teams it will be very emotional.
"If the result was not fantastic we still had a good time together out of the track and we tried the maximum.”