Valentino Rossi expects to make Ducati debut in Valencia

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Valentino Rossi expects to make his eagerly anticipated Ducati debut at Valencia in November.

The 31-year-old is confident he will be released from his Yamaha contract to begin testing for Ducati immediately after the final race of the season in Spain.

Ducati has submitted a request to Yamaha for Rossi to test in Valencia. But at present, permission for Rossi to gain an early release from his Yamaha contract has not been forthcoming from the Japanese factory.

Rossi says he’s not perturbed by Yamaha’s silence on the issue, with the seven-times MotoGP world champion confident Ducati’s request will be successful.

When he sensationally quit Honda to join Yamaha at the end of the 2003 season, HRC refused to release him immediately to begin testing.

But Rossi said: “I expect that Yamaha will let me try the Ducati in Valencia. This story is a different story and I gave more to Yamaha from 2004 to now. I improved the bike a lot, so if they are fair, they have to say yes for me to test in Valencia.”

Ducati has already agreed for departing 2007 world champion Casey Stoner to test a factory Honda RC212V in Valencia.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt