Ducati test ban would hurt Valentino Rossi

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Casey Stoner reckons Yamaha could deal a massive blow to rivals Ducati by banning Valentino Rossi from testing for the Bologna factory immediately after the final race in Valencia.

Ducati and Rossi are anxiously waiting to hear if Yamaha management will grant a request for the Italian star to be released early from his contract.

If Rossi was banned from testing for Ducati, it would be three months before engineers could get crucial technical feedback from the 31-year-old, with Rossi unable to make his debut on a GP11 until early February in Malaysia.

And Aussie Stoner, who will be replaced by Rossi having agreed a transfer to Honda, said: “I think it will be a big help for Ducati if he can test at the end of the season.

"From the end of the season they have a lot of time to make parts if something needs to happen. You get every bit of data you can from the Valencia test and in those months they go away and do as much work and thinking about everything as they can before testing starts in the new year.

"I think it will be important for them to have that first test so in the ban period they can do as much work as possible.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt