Engineer defection no concern to Valentino Rossi

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Valentino Rossi has brushed off the impact of two key Yamaha engineers defecting to Honda in 2010.

Christian Battagglia and Andrea Zugna will move to HRC with intimate knowledge of the YZR-M1 that Honda hopes will help transform its factory RC212V next season.

Rossi though denied being overly worried that the transfer would significantly weaken Yamaha and strengthen Honda in 2010.

"It is a pity but the world is full of good engineers and it is not impossible to find another two guys. We have worked with these guys closely in the last two years so it looks also like we have worked for Honda," said the 30-year-old, who is bidding for an eighth premier class world title next season.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt