Ducati CEO Gabriele Del Torchio has confirmed that Valentino Rossi has signed for the Ducati Marlboro Team to contest next year's MotoGP World Championship, the quote later to be denied by Ducati.
Ducati CEO Gabriele Del Torchio has confirmed to leading American magazine Cycle World that Valentino Rossi has signed for the Ducati Marlboro Team to contest next year’s MotoGP World Championship, coming as shock news since the deal was confirmed in an interview rather than a press release to be issued at Brno this month.
In a stunning turn of events, Del Torchio revealed to the renowned magazine that Rossi will be joining American Nicky Hayden on the factory team, which has proven one of the worst kept secrets in motorcycle racing during 2010.
“This season will not bring to Ducati any crown in the sport, but I look forward to Valentino Rossi teaming up with Nicky Hayden,” he revealed. “Nicky is a wonderful person and a great rider. This year, he greatly contributed to improving our Desmosedici racer. Next year, he and Valentino will hone the bike to its ultimate winning potential.”
But Ducati immediately released a statement denying that its CEO and president confirmed the signing.
“Regarding the recent allegations attributed to Gabriele Del Torchio – Ducati CEO and president – Ducati states that no agreement has been reached with the riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden for the future MotoGP season, although our interest in these riders remains,” the statement said.
“We would like to say that the recent news which has appeared on the U.S. website Cycle World and other websites has been misreported and must be attributed to the many rumors circulating lately. Whether and when an agreement is reached, official press releases will be issued.”
So the question remains – did Del Torchio let it slip too soon, or is Ducati attempting to save face before the big announcement at Brno? You decide!