Ducati feared Valentino Rossi Valencia test ban

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Ducati feared Valentino Rossi was going to be banned from testing for the Bologna factory in Valencia next week.

Ducati only got confirmation of Rossi’s release from his Yamaha contract at the recent Australian Grand Prix in Phillip Island.

The Italian will now make his much-hyped Desmosedici debut next Tuesday and Yamaha has also given permission for crew chief Jerry Burgess and the rest of Rossi’s mechanics to begin working with him immediately.

Ducati chief Alessandro Cicognani admitted he’d started to get concerned about Rossi’s availability for the Valencia test.

“The time was passing and the longer it went and there was no answer, we felt it might not happen. I think the decision was already taken but they were just waiting for the right moment.

"I’m happy because they will also release the team and I think we have arrived in a situation where everybody is happy. I think it is fair that every rider has the same chance to test the bike.

"We have been working on this for months so we really have to thank Yamaha,“ Cicognani told MCN.

He confirmed that Rossi would have one full prototype GP11 machine to test in Spain.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt