PH2: ROSSI QUITS DUCATI...
...and goes back to old team Yamaha in an effort to rekindle his fire
The announcement corroborates the impeccable sources of PHer MrKipling43, who first floated the idea of Rossi's move back to Yamaha on August 1 after hearing it from a well-connected mate. (read the thread here).
The Ducati's tricky handling resulted in a series of crashes for Rossi, most recently at Laguna Seca, which must have had some bearing on his decision. He's is 33 after all and none of us are rubbery at that age.
It was at Yamaha that he went from being merely World Champion to Global Superstar and all-around Biking God. He won 46 races for the team (neat bit of symmetry, given that he wears number 46) and took the championship four times. So he should be comfortable there, but the move also throws up a series of interesting questions. Like when he left he really wasn't getting on well with teammate Jorge Lorenzo, so how will the two gel next year? The on-form Spaniard is unlikely to give Rossi any quarter, and is currently leading the championship (Rossi is down in eighth).
The rumours are that Andrea Dovizioso might shift over from his Yamaha Tech 3 seat after Brit Cal Crutchlow's once-mooted move doesn't look like it'll happen. Even Hayden himself might move on.
Ducati's new owner VW, rich as Croesus it may be, is famously hard-nosed when it comes to motorsport. There's not a chance in hell it will be happy with its bikes trundling around in eighth or ninth, so it has to make a decision on whether to fund the mother of all turnarounds or pull out altogether. Given that it's officially Audi who owns Ducati, let's hope it goes down the Le Mans-style domination route rather than VW's long-term, look-the-other-way attitude to F1.
All of which means Rossi has either got out at exactly the right time, or precisely the wrong time. One thing's for sure, 2013's hotting up nicely already.