Kenny Roberts backs Valentino Rossi’s Ducati move

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Kenny Roberts is convinced Valentino Rossi will be a big success for Ducati when he partners Nicky Hayden next season.

Rossi’s decision to quit Yamaha was confirmed last weekend in Brno in a move exclusively revealed by MCN after the Dutch MotoGP in late June.

Triple world champion Roberts reckons the Italian can be an instant hit on a factory GP11 next season.

He told MCN: “I think that Valentino is the type of guy who knows what it takes when he makes these decisions. When he left Honda to go to Yamaha, everybody said he was finished because Yamaha was in such a bad situation at that point.

"But he knew something about the development of the engine and the Big Bang that nobody else knew. I think that was a calculated risk but not as much as everybody thought, including myself.

"I haven’t seen anything in his career that I could doubt that he’s making a mistake. Everything that he has done has been a risk but it has always panned out.

"He’ll have to take some people with him and he’s going to have to have a full commitment from Ducati that they have the capability to make the changes he wants and they have the desire to do that. Without both of them it isn’t going to work.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt