• Aug 15th 2010 at 4:30PM
  • 13
We're sure that none of you saw this one coming, right? To the surprise of absolutely nobody paying even an ounce of attention, Valentino Rossi has officially announced that he will ride for the Ducati factory team for the 2011 MotoGP race season. It's a veritable dream scenario for Italy, as an Italian rider will take to the track at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing aboard a bright red Italian motorcycle. Bellissima!

It's expected that American Ben Spies will take over Rossi's vacated paddock at the Fiat Yamaha factory team, joining 2010 title-leading rider Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo himself told us as much in an interview ahead of the U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca a few weeks ago. Rossi's teammate at Ducati is very likely to be American rider Nicky Hayden, giving the Italian team a duo of riders who have each won world championships – in Rossi's case, an impressive nine of them, in fact.

Of course, we already knew that current Ducati rider Casey Stoner was transitioning to Honda at the end of the 2010 season, where it's rumored he could share space with both Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso. Read Vale's own emotional statement about the move to Ducati, which was made shortly after the end of the latest MotoGP round in the Czech Republic, after the break.

[Source: Valentino Rossi]
Show full PR text
"It is very difficult to explain in just a few words what my relationship with Yamaha has been in these past seven years. Many things have changed since that far-off time in 2004, but especially 'she', my M1, has changed. At that time she was a poor middle-grid position MotoGP bike, derided by most of the riders and the MotoGP workers. Now, after having helped her to grow and improve, you can see her smiling in her garage, courted and admired, treated as the 'top of the class'.

"The list of the people that made this transformation possible is very long, but I would like to thank anyway Masao Furusawa, Masahiko Nakajima and 'my' Hiroya Atsumi, as representatives of all the engineers that worked hard to change the face of our M1. Then Jeremy Burgess and all my guys in the garage, who took care of her with love on all the tracks of the world and also all the men and women that have worked in the Yamaha team during these years.

"Now the moment has come to look for new challenges; my work here at Yamaha is finished. Unfortunately even the most beautiful love stories finish, but they leave a lot of wonderful memories, like when my M1 and I kissed for the first time on the grass at Welkom, when she looked straight in my eyes and told me 'I love you!'"

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      So, 2011 will be:

      In Yamaha, Lorenzo and Spies.
      In Ducati, Rossi and Hayden.
      And in Honda, Pedrosa, Dovizioso and Stoner.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You gotta love Valentno!
      The guy takes a press announcement and turns it into a love story.
      I just wanna know if it's a dude or a beautiful woman in the story he's writing.

      Regardless, he seems like an awsome guy and possibly the greatest of all time.

      If he is a TRUE gentleman and keeping all of his women hidden from the public, I'm dying to see who he is courting. They must be pretty hot. I'd kill to live his life.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe you can give your R6 to one of the other girls in your crew and maybe your boyfriend can let you have one of his old 1000cc bikes ?????
        • 5 Years Ago
        As a former 600 rider, I'll just say anyone who can -actually- ride to the limits of a modern 600 would never insult them. Just hopping on a liter bike doesn't make you better.
      • 5 Years Ago
      1st, I for one am excited to see Hayden paired up with Rossi again. 2nd, I can't wait to see Elbows move to the Yamaha factory squad next year. Hopefully Spies will flourish in that team, although I bet things are going to be very tough with Lorenzo. 3rd, the only question remaining is who will be Stoner's teammate at Honda Repsol. 4th, I am wondering if Suzuki is going to come out with a competitive bike.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As a fan of Suzuki bikes, it always made me sad that they havent been able to put together a competitive bike for quite some time. Even more frustrating, their street bikes are almost always at the top of the class. Do not understand
      • 5 Years Ago
      you should see the original:
      • 5 Years Ago
      This sucks! Now I have to sell my R6 and buy a ducati.
        • 5 Years Ago

        i'm not sure, but i feel ... a person that rides a motorbike, should fix it himself.
        i have always fixed my bikes, from bicycle, mopeds, suzuki rm125 and yamaha RD250/ RD350ypvs and XT350.

        during the years, i achieved a pretty big toolbox.
        i don't trust mechanics, being a mechanical guy myself.
        when i was a teenager, there was no internet, just libraries and magazines.
        occasionally you make mistakes and brake a piston ring while assembling for example, but that's life.

        i would always opt for a ducatti over a japan bike, unless it's a real money drain, which i don't think it is.
        the Ducatti fits my style if i would buy a motorcycle.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This sucks? I'd think upgrading to a Duc would be a good thing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Me

        Wow, blame it on working an extra early shift this morning, that was full of grammatical errors. *Hangs head in shame*
      • 5 Years Ago
      And so begins the battle of The Doctor v The Kentucky Kid
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think Elbows has what it takes to be world champion, look at his sucess so far, and he's never been on the euro tracks!! Him and Lorenzo will be batling for the championship. It will be interesting to see how fast Rossi gets the Duck going .. Hayden will have his hands full with these top riders, but don't count him out either, he's a workaholic, scrapper! CANT WAIT
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