Valentino Rossi vital for Ducati's new 1000cc project

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Ducati say Valentino Rossi’s development skills will be a priceless asset when MotoGP switches to a 1000cc four-stroke format in 2012.

As well as winning over 100 Grand Prix races, the Italian is renowned for his development skills and ability to lead a factory.

Working in tandem with Aussie crew chief Jerry Burgess, Rossi made Honda’s 990cc RC212V contender a formidable package in 2002 and 2003.

Rossi then took on the challenge of turning round Yamaha’s fortunes and he was able to immediately convert the struggling YZR-M1 machine into a consistent winner.

The seven-times MotoGP world champion will now move to Ducati for 2011, but his influence might only truly be felt ahead of the 2012 campaign.

New 1000cc four-strokes will be eligible to race and development of the new bike will be down to Rossi.

And Ducati boss Alessandro Cicognani believes this will give the Bologna factory a crucial advantage when the new rules are implemented.

Cicognani told MCN: “I think that will be a great advantage. Filippo (Preziosi) said it is thrilling to start to work Valentino and to understand the details and how to develop a bike.

"We really hope he will be a big help in that area for the new bike. Maybe he’ll be a big help for our products in general. The sensitivity that Valentino has in his body and mind for bikes is incredible.”

For more from Cicognani and more paddock reaction to Rossi’s Ducati move, see tomorrow’s MCN (August 25).

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt