A lack of spare parts for the new Yamaha R1 Superbike dashed Valentino Rossi's hopes of making a one-off World Superbike appearance this year, his MotoGP team manager Davide Brivio has revealed.
Rossi had attempted to line-up a Yamaha Italia ride for the Qatari round of this year's championship after stating the racing in the World Superbike Championship betters that of MotoGP.
Although the speculated head-to-head with Troy Bayliss was unlikely to come to fruition, it is thought Rossi was still planning to participate as a wild-card alongside Ben Spies and Tom Sykes.
However, while Brivio backed Rossi's plans, he revealed the lack of spare parts to run a third Yamaha to Rossi's specifications made it difficult to pursue.
“We were very excited at the idea of riding in a Superbike race,” he said during the launch of the 2009 Yamaha M1. “Valentino influenced us with his desire for new challenges and experiences. The idea of going to Qatar and racing in Superbike was very exciting. We'd have done it with great respect and with the idea to have fun, this was our attitude.
“Valentino belongs to the MotoGP Championship, but he would have tried Superbike just to test himself against those riders, whom he always follows them because they, too, are very good.
“Unfortunately this wasn't possible because Yamaha is working on the new R1 motorbike, and there are not many spare parts available yet. Setting up the bike for Valentino Rossi was technically impossible.
“Furthermore, because he is Valentino Rossi, we wanted to do things well and eventually we had to come to the conclusion that this wasn't going to be possible. Valentino was very sad when we had to cancel this experience. I believe he could be competitive, but we didn't intend to win the race.”
Despite the setback, Brivio echoed Rossi in hoping a Superbike appearance could happen in the future.
“We'd have gone with the idea of doing our best to see what level we could reach in one race. It would have been interesting, like a challenge of the past. I hope we consider it again in the future, I will keep dreaming of it.”