Valentino Rossi on Yamaha and Ducati today: “They must decide, the game changed”

Valentino Rossi has warned his old team Yamaha that they must “do more” because they are in “great difficulty”.
Valentino Rossi, San Marino MotoGP, 17 September
Valentino Rossi, San Marino MotoGP, 17 September

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo bemoaned his bike’s performance as he was pipped to the world championship on the final day of the MotoGP season by Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia.

Ducati have already reinforced their MotoGP 2023 rider line-up by adding Enea Bastianini, who won the second-most races in 2022, to their factory team.

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"Yamaha always focuses on balancing the bike, a fairly easy bike and cornering,” said the legendary Rossi. 

“But now the distance to the Ducati is important. I must say that Ducati in recent years has put anyone in difficulty, all the Japanese manufacturers are in great difficulty.”

MotoGP has already been rocked by the shock exit of Japan-based Suzuki.

Rossi’s iconic career is linked to Yamaha, the team that he enjoyed his heyday with.

A two-year spell at Ducati - where a famous Italian rider joined a famous Italian brand - was disastrous.

Valentino Rossi, Algarve MotoGP, 5 November
Valentino Rossi, Algarve MotoGP, 5 November

Rossi never added to his seven world titles in the premier class in the final 12 seasons of his career, even after leaving Ducati to return to Yamaha.

But his protege from the VR46 Academy, Bagnaia, became Ducati’s first world champion in 15 years this season.

“In Ducati they have an aggressive way of working, many bikes on the track and everyone's data,” Rossi said.

“So they have taken a step forward and the Japanese manufacturers will have to decide, because the game has changed: we need more money, more people... Will they feel like it? 

“They must understand that to win they will have to do more. Ducati is reaping the benefits of Gigi Dall'Igna's work and now I think it's the best bike."

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