Ducati boss Filippo Preziosi has admitted that he wasn’t surprised that Valentino Rossi rejected a multi-million pound offer to finish his MotoGP career with the Bologna factory.
Not even the weight of support of new owners Audi could help Ducati persuade Rossi to sign a new two-year deal after a disastrous stint on board a factory Desmosedici.
Having scored just three podium finishes in 31 races for Ducati, Rossi will move back to Yamaha’s factory squad in 2013 to renew his rivalry on a YZR-M1 machine with Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo.
Rumours have grown of an increasingly frosty relationship between Rossi and Preziosi in 2012, with development of the finicky Desmosedici not accelerating fast enough for the nine-times world champion.
Preziosi told MCN: “I am Ducati Corse’s General Manager and I am also a Valentino fan and I think he did a big challenge going back with Jorge. From a fan point of view I am happy for him.
"I know Valentino has a value for us because he is very precise in his comments but I understand he is in the last part of his career and I understand why he made his decision and I was not so surprised when he told me his decision.”