Ducati confirm Valentino Rossi signing

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Ducati has made official the worst kept secret in MotoGP racing by confirming it has captured Valentino Rossi on a big money two-year deal.

As was exclusively revealed by MCN back in late June, the reigning world champion has penned a deal to partner Nicky Hayden next season and he will spearhead Ducati’s assault on the first 1000cc MotoGP world championship in 2012. 

Tonight’s flurry of announcements made no reference to Rossi’s crew joining him in quitting Yamaha at the end of the season.

But it is widely expected that the seven-times premier class world champion will take his entire crew to Ducati, led by Australian Jerry Burgess.

Ducati Motor Holding president Gabriele Del Torchio said: “We are delighted to announce that Valentino Rossi will be with us from 2011. He is a paragon of excellence in the world of motorcycling, coherent with our Italian company, which is a standard-bearer for “made in Italy” excellence. These are key values for success in technology, design and sportsmanship. In addition to the strong and passionate intent of both parties, this agreement has been made possible by the committed support of our shareholder Investindustrial and all the sponsors associated with the Ducati Marlboro Team, sponsors which have believed in this opportunity and share and support our choices.”

Ducati Corse technical guru Filippo Preziosi, said he was thrilled to have capture Rossi’s signature following the departure of 2007 world champion Casey Stoner to Honda.

He said: “Firstly, Valentino is a great fan of motorcycles and so it has always been a pleasure for me to listen his opinions. Until the Valencia GP he will remain a competitor, one so great that he has always given a special value to our victories, but as soon as he rides the Ducati for the first time, we will work together on every single detail that will develop a bike capable of showing his huge talent. Working with Valentino is one of the most exciting things for every engineer and it’s good to know we will have this great opportunity next season.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt