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Rossi was hired to and he himself expected to win on the Ducati and outperform Stoner "who wasn't riding hard enough".
This had little to do with bike racing. Ducati's investors wanted out and had been positioning the company for a sale long before Rossi was a possibility. They too figured he would win and his personal brand would elevate Ducati and increase the share price. That is why they gave him an increase over his previous salary when Yamaha wanted to cut it in half.
It all backfired and Audi got Ducati at a 25% discount on the asking price. from an investor standpoint it was a low risk hedge bet that failed miserably.