Valentino Rossi has confirmed he will remain with Ducati for the second year of his existing MotoGP
contract, in 2012.
Highly-unlikely rumours of an early Ducati split in order to switch back to Honda, the manufacturer Rossi left under something of a cloud at the end of 2003, emerged during the MotoGP
Those rumours, which seem to have been fuelled by comments from former MotoGP
rider Marco Melandri, were rejected by nine-time world champion Rossi at Brno on Thursday.
"I read about something from my new manager, the Superbike rider Marco Melandri, who knows everything about my decision for next year!" laughed Rossi.
"Joking aside, I will race for Ducati next year for sure. It is not in doubt. The contract is signed and the situation is 100 percent fixed.
"So for sure I will race with Ducati - if Melandri agrees!"
Melandri meanwhile claims he was only joking:
"Kidding I said Rossi was looking for a Honda and everyone write it all over… Why I have to always [look] like a bad boy? Let me just race," the factory Yamaha WSBK
rider wrote on Twitter.
Rossi has taken just one podium from his first ten races as a Ducati rider and is currently fifth in the world championship heading into this weekend's Czech Republic round.
Rossi's team-mate Nicky Hayden
also has a Ducati contract for 2012.