After last week’s much publicised story that Valentino Rossi would be returning to Yamaha turned out to be as a result of Twitter hacking it is clear that much of the speculation about Rossi’s future can be taken with a pinch of salt.
The rumour mill continues to sprout new stories about Valentino but it now seems almost certain that his two year tenure with Ducati will come to an end and that a return to the factory Yamaha squad will be confirmed by the start of the Indianapolis Grand Prix weekend.
It is being widely reported today that an announcement about Rossi’s future will be made tomorrow but while many think this will be to confirm his Yamaha return it is likely to be that Ducati are announcing his departure.
It has been clear since Rossi first sat on a Ducati at the post-season Valencia test in 2010 that he has not been happy with the bike and this feeling has only increased during his tenure with the team. At his last race in Laguna Seca he struggled around in tenth position, aided by retirements, and crashed on the penultimate lap after losing the front with no warning as he approached the Corkscrew.
With Dorna, the MotoGP series organisers, having made clear in recent years that they view MotoGP as a commercial product and not a sport the fortunes of Rossi are inexplicably tied to the fortunes of the series. With crowd and TV viewership numbers falling it was imperative that Rossi, motorcycle racings most popular rider, found his way onto a more competitive bike.
His imminent return to Yamaha will give him the chance to do this and the sighs of relief from Dorna head office in Madrid will be heard around the world once the news is confirmed.