10 Aug 2012

OFFICIAL Valentino Rossi leaves Ducati and joins Yamaha

Following weeks of speculation it is now officially confirmed that Valentino Rossi is leaving Ducati.  A statement is shown on their website here.

Yamaha have also announced that Rossi has signed to race for them in MotoGP for the next two years as we previously reported here.

Roughly translated into English from Italian the Ducati statement reads:

Whilst looking forward to the  World Championship action at the Grand Prix in Indianapolis on August 19, Ducati announced that at the end of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship will end the relationship with Valentino Rossi.

Ducati wishes the Italian rider well for the new challenges that he will face, while continuing to deploy all his energies to share a growing season finale.

Racing has always been in the DNA of Ducati, and now more than ever, is an integral part of product development and brand of Borgo Panigale, all in complete agreement with AUDI who share our  commitment to increasingly visible and important competitions.

Ducati, which recently renewed its agreement with the American rider Nicky Hayden, is completing the definition of the team that will compete in the 2013 World Cup, confident that you can count on a team and bike that can compete at the highest levels.

Lin Jarvis of Yamaha has said this morning:

"This announcement is once again excellent news for Yamaha," said Yamaha's Lin Jarvis. "In June we were able to sign Jorge Lorenzo for the 2013-14 campaign and now we are able to confirm Valentino Rossi for the next two years.

In doing so we have been able to put together the strongest possible team to challenge for victories and to promote the Yamaha brand.

The target for the future is obvious and we will do our utmost to achieve our goals.

I have no doubt that with the experience, knowledge, skills and speed of these two great champion riders we will be able to challenge for many race wins and for the 2013 & 2014 World Championship titles."

Now we will have to wait and see how the rest of the grid lines up.  Andrea Dovizioso is expected to fill the vacant seat at Ducati whilst Ducati is expected to field two satellite bikes to full factory spec.  Full story here.