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Rossi and Ducati details

More details look to have emerged of the Ducati offer that could tempt MotoGP superstar Valentino Rossi to the Italian team for 2011.

Money looks to be one of the main factors - but not in the way you might imagine.

The Italian media are reporting that Ducati/Marlboro has tabled an offer of 15 million euros a year for the reigning nine time world champion - with future F1 and Rallying options with Ferrari/Fiat thrown in for good measure.

That pay deal would be similar to the amount the Italian currently receives from Yamaha, although Rossi seems to have come under gentle pressure to accept a pay cut from Yamaha - which has been hit hard by the global recession - in any new 2011 deal.

Rossi is thought to have accepted that reasoning and been open to the idea.

But with team-mate Jorge Lorenzo now tipped to receive a significant pay rise in-line with what looks like being 2010 world championship success, Rossi - presently out of action with a broken leg - is said to be unhappy that money he has offered to save the company could effectively be given to Lorenzo.

Lorenzo looks almost certain to continue at Yamaha - something Rossi isn't keen on - and sharing a team with Lorenzo as the reigning world champion would be even harder for Rossi to digest.

Meanwhile, Yamaha boss Masao Furusawa, with whom Rossi enjoys a great relationship, is nearing retirement.

In Yamaha's defence, they can hardly ignore Lorenzo's potential world title success and will need to reward him financially (especially as his current wage is probably 10 million euros lower than Rossi's) while at 23-years-old Lorenzo is also significantly younger than 31-year-old Rossi.

Should Rossi leave, Tech 3's Ben Spies would be an obvious replacement, while the 2011 M1 is sure to be competitive providing there are no major changes to the technical rules.

If Rossi joined Ducati, he would slot in alongside former Honda team-mate Nicky Hayden and in place of 2007 world champion Casey Stoner, who is now assumed to be heading for Repsol Honda.

Rossi is sure to want his crew chief Jerry Burgess and mechanics as part of any deal.

Like all good negotiators, Rossi is the person who will potentially gain most from such speculation, with rival bids only serving to drive up the terms of his 2011 contract (whoever it might be with), but the feeling in Italy seems to be that this time Rossi is considering Ducati very seriously.

Rossi turned down Ducati at the end of 2003, having left Honda as a triple 500cc/MotoGP world champion, choosing instead to join Yamaha, which had taken just one podium finish that season.

A total transformation of Yamaha's fortunes - for which Rossi, Burgess and Furusawa all deserve varying credit - saw Rossi win his first race on an M1 and go on to claim the factory's first MotoGP title since Wayne Rainey in 1992.

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rc212v - Unregistered

June 24, 2010 8:34 PM

I'm not ducati fan, BUT. If Rossi goes red, he will win. He will win championship. He is GOAT already, but after that will be GOATest of the GOATest. 1000cc era comes. Next season he, Jerry and Preziosi can do bike that will suit Vale brilliantly. All cards are in your hands. I know you'll make the right decision

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