Ducati move to prolong Valentino Rossi’s career
Valentino Rossi’s Ducati move is likely to extend his career in MotoGP.
The 31-year-old stunned the racing world last year when he opted to quit Yamaha and sign for the Bologna factory in a lucrative two-year deal that will see him partner American Nicky Hayden.
And Rossi’s former factory Yamaha team boss Davide Brivio believes the challenge of trying to win only Ducati’s second premier class world title will be the perfect motivation to keep the nine-times world champion racing beyond the end of the 2012 season.
Brivio, who quit Yamaha with Rossi and now works as a management consultant with the Italian, told MCN: “My personal feeling is that this could make Valentino’s career even longer.
"Maybe staying in Yamaha for another two years would have been it. But moving to Ducati, maybe there is the motivation to keep going for another year or two and perhaps extend his MotoGP career beyond the current contract."
Rossi is due back on track tomorrow (Tuesday) with the first major testing action of 2011 taking place at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.
It will be the first time Rossi has been able to ride Ducati’s factory GP11 machine since he underwent major surgery in mid-November to correct serious tendon and ligament damage in his right shoulder.
He made a low key debut for Ducati in Valencia in early November when the lingering shoulder injury left him only 15th on the timesheets.
He tested a Ducati 1198 superbike in Misano last week to gauge strength in his shoulder ahead of this week’s three-day Sepang test.