Friday, August 10, 2012

Valentino Rossi back with the Yamaha Factory MotoGP team for 2013-14

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Two years ago, it was "Bye Bye Baby," and now Rossi is crawling back to Yamaha...

Valentino Rossi will leave Ducati at the end of this year and will rejoin the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP team for 2013 and 2014. The Doctor hasn’t been able to win a single race on the Ducati Desmosedici GP11 and GP12 bikes, though he did manage to take a second-place finish in France this year.

Rossi won four MotoGP world championships (2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009) and 46 races with Yamaha from 2004-2010, before joining the Ducati team in 2011. The Rossi-Ducati Italian dream team, along with Aussie mech Jeremy Burgess, was expected to deliver great results but that never happened. The partnership never seemed to get off the ground, race wins never came and Rossi went from making noises about development work to pronouncing the Ducati MotoGP bike unrideable.

Despite The Doctor’s public outbursts about how terrible the Ducati bike is, Ducati have maintained a dignified silence throughout, never ever implying that the lack of results may have been because of the rider rather than because of the bike. In the end, even though we’re huge fans of The Doctor, we have to admit this whole thing makes Rossi look pretty silly. Back in 2010, Burgess and Rossi announced their move to Ducati with much fanfare and blowing of their own trumpets and two years later, they have copious amounts of egg on their faces – they’re looking silly, they’re looking like fools.

So Rossi is crawling back to Yamaha now, with his tail firmly clenched between his legs. We think Yamaha are being pretty gracious in taking him back, given his lack of results over the last two years. Whether or not Valentino can start winning races again on the Yamaha is not really the point – he probably will, despite younger, hungrier riders out there who’re baying for his blood. But the ‘superhuman’ aura which The Doctor once had is no more.

We love Ducati and we hope they’ll be able to find a talented young rider who’ll be able to do what Rossi couldn’t – win races aboard Ducati’s MotoGP bike. We wish Ducati all the best for 2013 and 2014, and we hope some Ducati rider – be it Nicky Hayden or anyone else – beats Rossi and his Yamaha in a few races next year!


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