Official Confirmation, Part 1: Ducati Announces Valentino Rossi Will Leave At End Of 2012

Part 1 of MotoGP's latest worst-kept secret is out: Valentino Rossi is to leave Ducati at the end of the 2012 season. Ducati this morning issued a press release (printed below) that their working relationship with Rossi will come to an end at the end of the season. Here is the press release in full:

Ducati and Rossi to part ways at the end of 2012

As the MotoGP series awaits its return to action for the August 19 Indianapolis Grand Prix, Ducati announces that its working relationship with Valentino Rossi will conclude at the end of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship.

Ducati wishes the Italian well for the new challenges that await him, and in the meantime, the team will continue to give its best effort in order to improve over the latter part of the season.

Racing has always been in Ducati’s DNA, and now more than ever, it is integral to the Borgo Panigale company’s product development and image. AUDI shares Ducati’s strategic approach and agrees with its growing commitment to competition.

Therefore, having recently renewed its agreement with American Nicky Hayden, Ducati is in the process of finalizing the team that will take part in the 2013 World Championship, confident that its team and bike will be capable of competing at the highest level.


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Expecting to see a lot of ducati/rossi/ducati bikes and kit on the cheap..I for one wouldn't spend 15k on a bike Stoner, Rossi and Checa don't want to ride/struggle to get anywhere near their best on, what chance do I have(not that I had any to begin with of course). A period best forgotten for Vale and a serious dent in Ducatis reputation, considering the real problems they are having with the panigale, the whole frameless thing has turned out to be a disaster. Hopefully someone one day will sit down to write about how ducati managed to throw everything they had behind a bike only one rider could ever ride. Mental and sad to see... Audi is more of a rescue than a partnership of equals.. Gutted for Rossi and his team who could have done wonders for ducati if they had listened...Instead ducati are squabbling over lower order riders in moto2 trying to replicate casey, unfortunately as with the 'rider can make most of the difference' comments, they are from another era and neither has as much relevance today.. Suspect Rossi will podium race 1 next year on the Yam.. Ducati won't all season, indeed their line up next year wouldn't podium if they were all on Hondas.....

Total votes: 143

Once Rossi has ridden his last race for them, Stoner will give back the magic parts he took away with him on the Sunday evening after Valencia 2010 and the bike will return to its winning ways.

Total votes: 135

Hugelean, It sounds me as though you are not particularly clear on the differences between MotoGP and production machinery. The Ducati GP bike and Panigale production machine only share Desmodromic valve actuation and two wheels. They used to share the nearly frameless chassis design,but they have had to abandon that in MotoGP due to an excess of variables to sort. The Panigale on the other hand is actually having a pretty good introductory season in world Superstock 1000 and are currently leading the standings by 31 points. So yes their GP situation is sad. I put it down to an over dependance on simulation which may have been exacerbated by the assinine testing restrictions that resuted in physical testing by riders that are simply capable of testing at the loadings that the top ranked riders are riding at all the time. I am so glad to see the testing restrictions go.

Total votes: 124

Does this mean I have to sell the Ducati i bought two years ago?!

Kidding, but if weren't for my wife, i would have pulled the ultimate fanboy move and bought one!

Now on to Yamaha dealer that still has the '08 or '09 Fiat Livery R1!

Yes, i know. I will surrender my man card now.

Total votes: 113

"Ducati won't all season, indeed their line up next year wouldn't podium if they were all on Hondas....."

Both Nicky and Dovi (assuming he joins Ducati) have had their share of podiums on Hondas.

Total votes: 117

"considering the real problems they are having with the panigale, the whole frameless thing has turned out to be a disaster."

WTF... Panigale problems?

Secondly this whole "switch to twin spar alloy frame" thing hasn't improved the Ducati one iota.

Its quite obvious that the structural air box either in alloy or carbon is not the source of the Ducati evil handling, the finger points at a combination of weight distribution brought about by their insistance on a 90 deg vee plus a HRC like obsession with bulk power over finesse.

Total votes: 107

All the Australian delivered bikes have been recalled. The UK magazine "Bike" test had intermittent electical faults, bad starting and dodgy dash readings.

This is what gets termed "character" in Italian bikes I think.

Total votes: 115

Not in the Australia I live in... what was the recall for? A rear suspension bolt?

Of course you would not be so unsubtle to describe early production issues with a new street bike, unfortunately a common occurrence across all brands, as proof that using the engine as a stressed chassis component is a flawed design philosophy. That would silly, wouldn't it?

Total votes: 132

Yes, a bolt..
Product description
1199 Panigale Motorcycles (all versions)
Identifying features
See attached VIN list.
What are the hazards?
If the retaining bolt linking the swingarm to the rear suspension linkage rod fails, it may result in loss of control of the motorcycle.
What are the defects?
Some motorcycles may have been fitted with the incorrect retaining bolt linking the swingarm to the rear suspension linkage rod.

Early, mid or late? Production issues and Ducati go hand in hand.
Terms like "Character" and "passion" used to gloss over low quality.
Which is fine for sunny Sunday bikes and if you are into that sort of thing.


Total votes: 101

Rear suspension bolt failure that could cause loss of control? Maybe Ducati have succeeded in turning their bike into an M1.

Total votes: 107

Good luck for next year. The last 18 months have clearly hurt.
Trying to weave magic out of that wheelbarrow is clearly a hiding to nothing. Add that to Marco's death and it is no wonder he has decided to trade out of the misery of the "Dream Team" to try and bring some joy back into his world.

Bring on the racing! (Go Casey!!)

Total votes: 121

within the team could be huge. As well as the riders dropping into place it will be interesting to see who remains in the Ducati MGP design/R&D and senior management team. Will Audi just shuffle the team to produce a race-winning bike that can both be ridden by more than one person without special tyres and repair their battered image?
I guess we will have wait until the winter to find out the answer to that one. Perhaps they will build a parallel team for a new drivetrain c/w chassis to suit and just boot this one out at seasons end after a few months of playing 'tweak the widget'.
If the Preziosi/Furusawa thing means they havn't even made a meaningful start yet, does anyone have a rough idea how long this might take?
Is that why VR jumped - even Audi cannot produce what is needed from a standing start within a year?
If San Carlo are leaving Gresini would that team be a good basis for the 'junior team', taking the lead with the new bike?

Total votes: 109

... convince a still young rider from Kurri kurri to change his mind about retirement, and stir up a little bit this (bloody) silly season? Could he be tempted to go back and win with a bike that a legend couldn´t? Man, since the day Casey announced his departure I cant´watch MotoGP with the same joy. Now I´m positive Jorge and Vale will make it interesting, but not much of a surprise. Jorge will be 2013 Champion, Vale will add some wins and many podiums, and the rest of the field will be a lottery of also rans of factory, satellite an CRT bikes.

Total votes: 111

It is totally understandable that why Rossi left ducati.No 9 time WC can sit and see his best effort go for only 6th or worse in 2 years.Rossi's conduct these past 2 years have been extremely good, considering the ambitions of the 'legend of motogp'.Only riders who want to win 'badly' and are willing to go the extra mile will always voice their opinions especially when their demands are not being met and the parts are coming at snails pace.That gives the opportunity for the haters to rise and that proves the greatness of the man so inherent to motogp.No champion is a real champion if he doesn't face rejection and for people like rossi, the more rejection they receive the more they succeed.

In 2013, people will again expect lot more than usual for rossi and definitely he will be slow off the blocks.But once he gets the familiar feeling on the Yam nobody in the world can deny him regular podiums and then victories.And this seat is deserved by rossi since he is a proven rider.Dovi and Cal are good riders but they are definitely not rossi's class yet, like JL99 is.

GP 12 at this time is the same as last year tests as affirmed by rossi.Nicky has a setup which allows him to go faster in quali and first half of race, while rossi has a setup that makes him slow in quali but allows him to conserve rubber and run at a higher pace than tech 3 and hayden during the 2nd half of the race.That itself shows how riders have managed to adapt the bike to their liking as far as they can go (i.e setup changes) while the outright lack of pace in the region of 1 sec per lap give or take still remains.Thats failure on ducati's part while the riders are doing what they can.

I expect rossi to continue like before on the ducati maybe with a little more enthusiasm knowing that he will be close to the front next year so i am expecting a good second half from 46.I seriously hope that audi can help ducati, there is something that i like about a ducati being at the sharp end.Hopefully it happens so that good riders like hayden can relive the thrill of fighting at the front.

Total votes: 119

Rossi himself may actually believe he is going back to Yamaha as number 2. He's seen the #2 riders job many times through Colin's, Nicky's and other's eyes. But the hunger will get to him. I think it will be very Spies/Mladin. They'll break away pushing each other and except on tracks where the Honda is just the better bike or in Germany where Dani just has it down.

In the end I do believe Lorenzo comes out on top. Neither are the same riders they were two years ago. Lorenzo is that much smarter and Rossi losing some of his edge. But unless Rossi starts breaking swingarms and frames...

Total votes: 118

With all the digital gumph you will get a lot of recalls whether you are a Ducati, Yamaha or Honda. Just look at your PC or smartphone, how often that updates. Mechanical updates tend to be rarer but still they happen frequently.
Ducatis problem in Moto GP are the "one size fits all" tyres. Stoner crashed a lot on those as well I seem to recall...

Total votes: 124