The rumors that Valentino Rossi is about to forsake Yamaha and go to Ducati have been growing ever since Mugello. But over the past few weeks, those rumors have been growing ever more frantic, with official announcements of the deal being predicted at Barcelona, at Brno after the test, and here at the Sachsenring. The latest rumors gathering pace in the Italian press is that a deal is to be announced at Laguna Seca, after the race there next weekend.
That is not to be the case, according to Rossi himself. When asked during the pre-event press conference when the media and Rossi's fans could expect an announcement on his future, Rossi said that the time was not yet ripe. "I think now for me, it's too early," the Fiat Yamaha rider told the press conference. Any news would come much later in the year, he said: "I think it's possible to say what's happening for me in 2011 after the Brno race."
So speculation will continue to rage for another month on what Rossi will be doing next year. Though the fans are starting to grow restless, the media will be pleased, as Rossi rumors will help to sell papers throughout MotoGP's summer break.
A switch to Ducati still seems like by far the most likely scenario, though now speculation has turned to the future of Rossi's crew. The Italian press is reporting that Rossi will make the switch to Ducati without his long-time crew chief and technical genius Jerry Burgess, liaising almost directly with Ducati designer and engineering guru Filippo Preziosi. But so far, no word has come from Burgess himself. As these were the same papers reporting an early announcement from Rossi on his switch to Ducati, the value of these reports is frankly rather hard to judge. Soon, though, the wait will be over, and the news will be made official. Whatever that news may be.