Rossi: Stoner’s Ducati form gave me false hope
Valentino Rossi has spoken to the media for the first time about his decision to leave Ducati at the end of the 2012 season.
The nine-time world champion will return to Yamaha following two difficult seasons with the Italian squad that have so far yielded just two podium finishes.
Rossi described his inability to be competitive with the team as “a great pity”.
“After Laguna I had a break and I had more time to think deeper about my future,” he said.
“It’s a great pity for me and Ducati and all our fans, but especially for the guys that worked with me on this project.
“We try to be competitive – an Italian rider with and Italian bike, but unfortunately it hasn’t happened.
“These two seasons have been very difficult and we have struggled a lot unfortunately. We were not able to improve our speed and our performance and to fight for the good positions.
“So for this I decided it was enough and so I tried to think which was the most competitive bike for the next two years that might be the last of my career.
“It’s a great pity and I’m very sad also because in Ducati I found some great people and we had a lot of great times together. We tried the maximum.”
The 33-year-old added that his plans beyond the two-year Yamaha deal will likely depend on results.
“My future depends a lot on the result of the next two seasons,” he said.
“I want to remain more than two seasons in MotoGP, but it depends how much I am strong and fast with the M1
“I hope to be fast, to be competitive, to enjoy, and to remain in MotoGP for more than two seasons.”
Rossi also admitted that Casey Stoner’s ability to win races on the unruly Ducati prior to leaving the team at the end of 2010 gave him false hope.
“For Ducati the problem, the positive problem, was that Stoner was very fast with that bike,” said Rossi.
“It was a problem for us to make the decision (to join Ducati) at the end of 2010.
“But you know, the reality is that I was never fast on that bike from the first test to now, and unfortunately with Ducati we were never able to improve the bike and fix the problems that the bike has.”