After a horrible race that ended with a crash at the Corkscrew with two laps to go after cruising around in a lonely eighth, Valentino Rossi spoke to the usual Sportmediaset post-race show Fuori Giri, and he was asked again about his future and specifically about the offer that he received from Gabriele Del Torchio during this weekend’s Laguna Seca GP.
The Italian immediately shot down the rumors that the Italian manufacturer had offered him an absurd sum to stay on - the numbers ranged from 12 to 18 million euros - depending on which rumor you’ve read.
“Actually, Ducati has lowered their offer,” said Rossi. “The money is a lot less, but fortunately for me it isn’t important in deciding what will be my future. They told me that a lot of things will change now that there is Audi, and there is some great motivation, but to stay with Ducati is a bit of a gamble.”
“With Ducati I’d earn more money compared to the other offers but a lot of things will change, so it seems that Audi wants to do well. With Ducati it would be a long term bet, with a long contract because it could take six months or more to solve the bike’s problems.
“At the present it’s worrying that we’ve failed to improve: the problems are always the same, and it’s the front end. In Ducati there are a lot good people who know how to work, but there will be some changes … I’m going on vacation and I’ll think about it.”
The allure of bringing Ducati to the top would undoubtedly offer something more than other solutions and thinking of Ferrari, this year they’ve had some big problems, Fernando (Alonso) was champion to get the most out of the first difficult races, but they eventually managed to solve the problem: we still haven’t.
There is still this very big problem with the bike, so big, that I think that if we could fix it, the bike could quickly become competitive. I don’t know how to find a solution … and Ducati still hasn’t succeeded.
However it’s just a little early to talk about a “project” a lot of things are changing, so we have to understand how much Audi is willing to work on this program, and how many people will be involved … You have to believe in it, but it’s still a little early to tell what will happen. Will Preziosi stay? I think so…”
Rossi’s other offer is from Yamaha (or maybe it’s the other way around), which has angered Yamaha factory seat contender Andrea Dovizioso, who had a few choice expeletives while talking about meritocracy as he is waiting for his fellow countryman to decide, but according to more recent rumors, if Rossi wants a Yamaha, he will have to take a massive paycut, bring a big sponsor and he could stand to lose his long standing pit crew including Jeremy Burgess.