Yamaha boss doubts Ducati move for Valentino Rossi

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Valentino Rossi will shun any chance to complete a multi-million switch to Ducati in 2011.

That’s the confident prediction of his current Fiat Yamaha team manager Davide Brivio, who believes Rossi will continue to ride a factory YZR-M1 if the legendary Italian decided to prolong his illustrious career beyond next season.

Rossi’s current Yamaha contract expires at the end of the 2010 season and speculation has already been rife about a possible Ducati move for the seven-times MotoGP world champion, who turns 31 next month.

Rossi fuelled much of the intense speculation himself when he made pre-Christmas comments about seriously contemplating a Ducati switch because of his current disillusionment with Yamaha and the decision to retain Spanish team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

Rossi, who has won 103 races in a record-breaking career, distanced himself from comments that strongly suggested if Yamaha opted to sign double world 250GP champion Lorenzo beyond 2010, then the Italian would quit.

But Brivio, who was influential in enticing Rossi to Yamaha at the end of 2003, firmly believes Rossi will be going nowhere in 2011.

Brivio told MCN: “Valentino can’t ask Yamaha to take this rider or ask them to sign somebody else and is aware of that.

“For sure if Valentino can decide then more than likely he would like to be alone. But Yamaha will decide the strategy.

“For the future, Valentino has to decide whether he wants to continue racing or not. And I would say the most likely solution would be for him to stay with Yamaha.

“He is very happy with Yamaha and they have a good bike and him staying is the scenario I see more than anything else.”

Brivio also played down suggestions that Rossi was engaged in a political game with Yamaha to try and get major 2010 title threat Lorenzo dumped.

“If he wants to put some pressure on Yamaha then he doesn’t need to use the media.

“He can do it directly with the management who he has a very good relationship with.

“If he has an intention to move to Ducati then I think it would be better for him to do it privately with management.

“I don’t think he is trying to make any pressure on Yamaha.

“Yamaha knows that next year they have to negotiate with him and there is and always has been a clear and open relationship and I’d imagine the discussions will be quite simple.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt