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Yamaha: Valentino Rossi approached us

“I can say that Carmelo [Ezpeleta, Dorna CEO] had no influence whatever in the entire process. I have never discussed Valentino Rossi's return with Carmelo still to this day.

“We consider Jorge as our priority number one rider for the current championship and coming two seasons. We consider Jorge to be the most capable rider to win the world championship.

“We had a lot of competition from Honda to sign Jorge and we did our maximum to sign him. So Jorge is the key for pure results.

“Valentino has an enormous global awareness and popularity. There is no doubt he did great things for the Yamaha brand and there is no doubt he can do still do great things for Yamaha and this sport.

“Having Valentino on a competitive motorcycle will be very popular for MotoGP. This sport is going through difficult times and it is not aided by seeing the most popular rider in world down in sixth, seventh or eighth place.

“So seeing Valentino on a competitive bike - whether Honda, Yamaha or Ducati - will bring benefit to all riders and all teams.

“We signed Jorge and we made our maximum [financial] effort. We will never go into financial situations, but I think Jorge is taken care of very well and we did not have a huge budget remaining for Valentino.

“Jorge has the number one tag because of his current performance and future potential, but we will treat both rider exactly equally.

“During the discussion with Valentino we spoke about the past and I think the situation with the team will be different. Previously, Valentino was the number one and Jorge the arriving youngster. That created tensions.

“We have explained that we don't want to see any situations [like Motegi 2010] where our riders will be endangering the result of the other. This is always difficult with two strong riders, so I don't say the next two seasons will be easy, but I believe we can manage that.

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Support MotoGP - Unregistered

August 24, 2012 11:57 AM

I would imagine the last thing a sports superstar like Rossi with a huge fan base and millions in the bank would be crying to go back to Yamaha. He can go to WSB, WRC, practically anywhere. Rossi is the equivalent of Schumacher in F1. His record in modern motorcycle racing is unsurpassed. He has nothing to prove. Casey is, sadly, retiring which leaves Pedrosa and Lorenzo to grab the wins from now on. Rossi will still win races too, but in 2013, on a competative machine. People should have more respect for racers, especially when Rossi and Edwards were involved in that horrific accident with Marco Simoncelli(RIP). The fact Rossi and Edwards can even put their leg over a motorcycle after that traumatic accident speaks volumes of their bravery and determination to be racers. Which is why we all love and watch MotoGP, to see racing.

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