Marco Simoncelli not rushing MotoGP decision

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Reigning world 250GP champion Marco Simoncelli will keep Yamaha and Ducati sweating as he could delay a decision on his future until deep into the 2009 campaign.

One key reason for the Italian’s hesitation in agreeing a deal now is that Yamaha and Ducati’s detailed talks so far have only involved him joining their satellite teams.

The Italian’s MotoGP debut may be 18 months away at least, but both want the reigning world 250 champion to sign a pre-contract agreement after he became one of the hottest properties in 2008.

Simoncelli’s manager Carlo Pernat has confirmed to MCN that Tech 3 Yamaha chief Herve Poncharal first made contact back in June, while Ducati also spoke at length with the Gilera star.

“The interest from Yamaha started in June with Herve talking to us and I know he has made many meetings with Yamaha and this is an option that is very interesting for us.

Marco has spoken already with Lin Jarvis (Yamaha Racing boss) but also we are in the same talks with Ducati,", said Pernat.   

Pernat has advised Simoncelli to sit tight for now and added: “We don’t know what the bikes are going to be like in 2009, let alone in 2010. Honestly Yamaha, Ducati and Honda could be at the same level, but we don’t know what will happen with Suzuki and Kawasaki but they could improve and also become an option with a factory team.

"For now the offers are for the second teams, but in my opinion that’s why we need to wait because I don’t see why Marco needs to choose a second team right now. If he is strong again next season then maybe some official team might want him.

"I’m not sure it is right that he arrives in MotoGP in a second team, especially if he arrives in 2010 as the double world 250 champion.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt