Burgess: Rossi To Ducati Rumors "Laughable"

The rumors that Valentino Rossi is contemplating a switch to Ducati have been brewing for some time now. We wrote about the background to the story earlier, and at Phillip Island, MCN's Matt Birt took the opportunity to ask both Valentino Rossi and his crew chief Jeremy Burgess about the rumors.

Valentino Rossi was short and to the point, giving the same answer he'd given to Spanish and Italian journalists previously. He pointed to the fact that he already had a contract with Yamaha for next season, and repeated that he will only make a decision next year. Burgess was typically more forthright, denying the rumors outright, and putting them down to "dickhead Italian journalists". At the time he was supposed to be entering the Ducati factory, Burgess said, he was sitting at home in Australia. Read the full report over on MCN.

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Of course it's a joke for 2010 and a rumour started from wishful thinkers/italian journalists, but his answer leaves all door open for 2011 and his comment about Presiozi's talent was all but innocent.

You can be certain that He will take Burgess with him. That is a big pill to swallow for any company (just ask Honda). Losing your number one rider and your top crew chief in one fell swoopis a killer. In addition to Burgess, Rossi will likely seek assurances of lots of cash, and lots of reassurances that he will have the technical resources available to not be left wanting for performance! Will Yamaha be able to satiate Velentino one more time? Or will they ultimately bight the bullet, say arrivederci and hang there hat on a slightly less costly star? Who knows? A lot depends on the ongoing performance of Rossi's rivals. If Jorge and Casey continue to challenge him week in week out then they may eat into his leverage. Unquestionably Vale is an invaluable (albeit extremely expensive) advertising tool the world over. Even when he hasn't won the title the advertising dollars were always there. Something none of his rivals at the moment can claim. As usual it wont all come down to racecraft. In this day you have to have a total package and Rossi has set that bar very high! Speed sells, but Speed and Charisma is lightning in a bottle.

As stated before, Rossi is all too aware of his place in the history books so really wants more championship wins. But I personally think even more so he would not want to regret later that he never proved he could tame the Ducati. The world will forever wonder about this, and he will not have shown he can match - or beat - Stoner's performance (of the past few years - whether Stoner will still be with Ducati is irrelevant). The title of his biography says it all: What If I Never Tried It?

Then again, if he doesn't go Bolognese, that tells me he is REALLY afraid of the Duc - and I will be an ass ;)

Yeah, Rossi has always one eye on the apex and one on the history books and, as an italian rider, he knows he would definitively earn his Golden Spot above all the others (and especially Ago) would he finish his career as WC on a Ducati (if that one does run well early 2010). I don't think Bologna would object against JB coming with him, or any financial desires would he have: he's making sure way in advance how he wants it to happen...

After hearing of the truck loads of money ducati were willing to pay Lorenzo I suspect it's a fishing trip. If ducati bites and offers Rossi some big money what will yamaha do?

Increase his pay is what :)

I don't think he left honda for a new challenge so much as to stick it to their management. He seems very happy with yamaha.

Valentino Rossi has shown himself in the past to be an expert negotiator. There is every reason to believe that some of this is aimed at his contract negotiations next year. He's getting some early leverage.