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Ducati signs Rossi for 2 years
Italian Rossi will be trading in his Yamaha (above) for the Italian Ducati team.  The Italian are delighted
Ducati and Valentino Rossi have signed a two-year agreement for the nine-time World Champion to race with the “Rossa” of Borgo Panigale in the Ducati Team from 2011.

The arrival of Valentino in Ducati opens a new and exciting chapter in the Italian factory’s sporting history and, indeed, of the whole MotoGP Championship. The opportunity of lining up such an extraordinary rider and character is considered by Ducati to be of huge value to the whole Ducati MotoGP project.

“We are delighted to announce that Valentino Rossi will be with us from 2011,” commented Gabriele Del Torchio, president of Ducati Motor Holding. “He is a paragon of excellence in the world of motorcycling, coherent with our Italian company which is a standard bearer for ‘made in Italy’ excellence. These are key values for success in technology, design and sportsmanship. In addition to the strong and passionate intent of both parties, this agreement has been made possible by the committed support of our shareholder Investindustrial and all the sponsors associated with the Ducati Team, sponsors which have believed in this opportunity and share and support our choices.”

Filippo Preziosi, Ducati Corse General Director, said: “Firstly, Valentino is a great fan of motorcycles and so it has always been a pleasure for me to listen to his opinions. Until the Valencia GP he will remain a competitor, one so great that he has always given a special value to our victories, but as soon as he rides the Ducati for the first time we will work together on every single detail that will develop a bike capable of showing his huge talent. Working with Valentino is one of the most exciting things for every engineer, and it’s good to know we will have this great opportunity next season.”  Ducati press release

[Editor's Note: Nicky Hayden is expected to be retained as Rossi's teammate, with Ducati's current lead rider Casey Stoner having already announced he will join Honda next year.  Hayden was Rossi's teammate at Honda when he first started in MotoGP in 2003, winning the rookie of the year award after a fifth-place finish in the championship.  Hayden took advantage of a rare error by five-time champion Valentino Rossi to claim his first MotoGP world title in a dramatic race in the season-ending grand prix in Valencia in 2006.]

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