Valentino Rossi barred from riding new Yamaha

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Yamaha will ban Valentino Rossi from riding its 2011 prototype machine in Brno later this month.

Rossi’s multi-million pound switch to Ducati will be confirmed immediately after the Czech Republic Grand Prix on August 15.

And as a result, the Italian will be barred from testing an early development YZR-M1 for next year on the Monday after the Brno clash.

His crew, led by Australian Jerry Burgess, will also be banned from working on the new bike and will not be privy to any technical details about the upgraded factory YZR-M1.

Rossi’s Ducati deal, exclusively revealed by MCN at the end of June, will see him depart with his crew in hot pursuit.

Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis told MCN, said: “It is pretty obvious if there is at any stage a test of a 2011 prototype it will be with a rider that will be with us in 2011.”

Jarvis conveyed an air of resignation about Rossi’s departure, which had seemed unthinkable just two months ago when he declared his desire to finish his career with the Japanese factory.

Jarvis said: “Brno is the kind of timing we are comfortable with. We originally said we wanted to have clarity with our future plans by the summer break but that has not quite worked out. You have your own contacts within this world but from my position I can’t say anything until Brno.”

Ducati is still awaiting permission from Yamaha for Rossi to make his Bologna factory debut immediately after the final race in Valencia.

It is traditional for teams to release departing riders early from their contracts to begin testing for a rival squad before their contracts have expired.

Most contracts end on December 31, but most riders are released immediately after the final race.

One notable exception was when Rossi quit Honda at the end of 2003. HRC refused to release him early to test for Yamaha.
Ducati boss Alessandro Cicognani said: “We would like to work out a solution with Yamaha if a situation arises like this. The relationship between Valentino and Honda was very bad at the end. Now he has been with together with Yamaha for a long time in what has been a victorious wedding. I think it is acceptable that Yamaha would release Valentino given what he’s given them in the last seven years.”
Ducati has already approved Casey Stoner’s release to test for Honda at the Valencia test in early November.
Jarvis added: “I think it is far too early to talk about that.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt