Ducati confirms Valentino Rossi’s exit
Ducati has confirmed that Valentino Rossi will leave the team at the end of the season, paving the way for the Italian star to return to Yamaha.
Rossi’s future has been the subject of increasing speculation this year as the nine-time World Champion continues to struggle on the Italian machinery.
Rossi has scored just two podium finishes from 27 starts since moving from Yamaha to Ducati at the beginning of last season, and has not won a race since the Malaysian Grand Prix in October 2010.
Ducati issued the following statement today formally announcing Rossi’s departure:
“Ducati wishes the Italian well for the new challenges that await him, and in the meantime, the team will continue to give its best effort in order to improve over the latter part of the season.
“Racing has always been in Ducati’s DNA, and now more than ever, it is integral to the Borgo Panigale company’s product development and image. AUDI shares Ducati’s strategic approach and agrees with its growing commitment to competition.
“Therefore, having recently renewed its agreement with American Nicky Hayden, Ducati is in the process of finalizing the team that will take part in the 2013 World Championship, confident that its team and bike will be capable of competing at the highest level.”
An announcement confirming Rossi’s Yamaha return is expected later today.