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GP Week : Issue 160
Officially, Valentino Rossi remains dedicated to the task of bringing the reluctant Ducati Desmosedici back to the winner’s circle, a position it hasn’t seen since Casey Stoner left at the end of 2010. “It is my first priority,” is his repeated comment, to questions about future plans. Unofficially, few in the paddock believe he will stay there unless he has no alternative. And Dorna chief Carmelo Ezpeleta fanned the flames with a remark in an Italian interview, asserting that “Rossi will be riding a competitive bike next year, but I cannot tell you what it is. It is still too early to talk about: in 2013 we will see Rossi fight for the win again.” If this means Dorna has brokered a deal with either Honda or Yamaha, nobody was admitting it. “We have had no contact with Rossi or his management,” said Repsol Honda’s Livio Suppo; while Rossi’s ex-Yamaha major domo Davide Brivio insisted: “They have not called us, and we have not called them. We have not spoken to Honda or Yamaha.” Yamaha Racing boss Lin Jarvis also denied any secret deals, and said the company was in a position to wait and see, after having secured Lorenzo’s services for another two years. “That was priority number one, even in winter. Jorge is our rider for the future. Now that is done we are taking our time to think about the second rider.” As well as incumbent Ben Spies, both satellite riders Dovizioso and Crutchlow were candidates for the second factory slot. As for Rossi: “I want to see first what HRC will do. Honda is the more logical place, because I think they have a need to compete against us next year, and compete with Lorenzo. “But anything could happen. You can’t rule Rossi out of being on a Yamaha in one of the teams.” ROSSI AND THE FUTURE: MOTOGP'S KEY QUESTION ‘Don’t rule us out ... but Honda is more logical ’ –Yamaha racing chief 10 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS