Valentino Rossi’s factory Yamaha boss Davide Brivio has given his thoughts on the forthcoming 2010 MotoGP campaign, including the much talked about future of the reigning world champion.
Not surprisingly, Brivio stated Yamaha’s intention to retain Rossi in 2011 should the 30-year-old Italian prolong his career beyond his current contract, which expires at the end of the season.
Rossi has already been linked with a big-money move to rivals Ducati, but the seven-times premier class world champion recently stated again that his preference was to remain on board a factory Yamaha YZR-M1 in 2011.
On the subject of Rossi’s future, Brivio said: “I think the first thing is waiting until Vale’s decision, whether he will continue in 2011 or not. If so, I think Yamaha’s wish is to continue with him.
"There are three main manufacturers with four strong riders, so one of them will have to have two number one riders.
"At the moment that manufacturer is Yamaha. Let’s see if we are able to confirm this strong team and continue to win for a long time.”
Rossi’s latest test in a Ferrari F1 car in Barcelona prompted more speculation about a possible move to the iconic Italian brand in the future.
But Brivio said: “I have a little of a fight inside because I am a Yamaha team manager, but I am also a big Ferrari F1 fan.
"I would like to have two Valentino Rossis, one in Yamaha and one in Ferrari. Of course, I hope that he continues to race with us and remain in our team because I love to work with him.
"As for a possible challenge in Ferrari, I think he has a good potential but he would probably need some time to learn and to get experienced. Experience is not something you can buy. I don’t know if the public and the media have the patience to wait for him.
"As a sportsman and as a Ferrari fan it would be very interesting, but I hope he will race in motorcycles and that he will just test Ferrari from time to time.”
Looking ahead to the 2010 campaign, Brivio said he expected Rossi’s chief rivals to be Lorenzo and factory Ducati rider Casey Stoner.
Aussie Stoner has won more races than Rossi in the 800cc MotoGP era and Brivio added: “I would put Stoner and Lorenzo at the same level because at the end of last season they were very strong.
"These four riders will be the main players for the championship. Other rookies could be a surprise, like Ben (Spies) and (Marco) Simoncelli.
"I think that for the championship we have to consider these three or four riders.”