Rossi to Ducati Rumors Heat Up
Ducati says Cycle World "misreported"
Rumors linking Rossi to the Italian manufacturer have been circulating for months, especially after Honda announced the signing of current Ducati Marlboro rider Casey Stoner.
Various news outlets have reported the rumored Rossi-to-Ducati deal as “official”, with the latest coming from an article in Cycle World. The article, written by Cycle World’s European editor Bruno dePrato, featured an interview with Gabriele Del Torchio, Ducati chief executive officer, about the company’s upcoming “Mega Monster” muscle cruiser.
The article ventured into the future of Ducati’s racing efforts, with Del Torchio quoted as saying he looks forward to Rossi and Hayden teaming up.
"Nicky is a wonderful person and a great rider. This year, he greatly contributed to improving our Desmosedici racer,” the article quotes Del Torchio. “Next year, he and Valentino will hone the bike to its ultimate winning potential.”
Hours after the article was published online however, Ducati issued a statement saying no deal has been reached with either Rossi or Hayden for 2011. The statement reads:
Regarding the recent allegations attributed to Gabriele Del Torchio - Ducati CEO and President, Ducati states that no agreement has been reached with the riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden for the future Moto GP season, although our interest in these riders remains.
We would like to say that the recent news which has appeared on the US website Cycle World and other websites has been misreported and must be attributed to the many rumors circulating lately.
Whether and when an agreement is reached, official press releases will be issued.
Rossi is expected to make an official announcement about his future at the Aug. 13-15 Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno.