is VALENTINO ROSSI going for a SURPRISE DUCATI MOTO GP TEST?
Valentino Rossi is excited to ride the Ducati GP21 his VR46 Racing team will use in the 2022 Moto GP World Championship, as per Michele Pirro.
Valentino Rossi has reportedly promised to throw his leg over the Ducati GP21 in a private test to find out how far the machine has come ten years after a largely disastrous switch to the Italian manufacturer changed the direction of his career.
Rossi brought his 25-year international Grand Prix racing career to an emotional decision in Valencia over the weekend, a tenure that yielded nine GP world titles, seven of which were gotten in the premier 500/Moto GP class.
He is also one of the four riders to get the biggest prize in motorcycle racing with two separate manufacturers - Honda and Yamaha - but in the course of becoming the first to achieve three, his switch to Ducati in 2011 proved to be an important misstep.
Considered to be a ‘dream team’ combination of an Italian legend in an Italian team, Rossi took place of his Honda-bound arch-rival Casey Stoner - to date Ducati’s only World Champion - at the height of their intense competition, raising the stakes for success even higher.
Since it was a nondescript couple of years for Rossi as he struggled to get a hold on the Ducati’s stiff nature, the Italian achieved only a trio of podiums before returning to Yamaha for the rest of his career in 2013. Indeed, Rossi’s troubles on the Ducati were common, his complaints echoed by the likes of Jorge Lorenzo, Nicky Hayden, Andrea Iannone, Cal Crutchlow, and Andrea Dovizioso, even if the latter went on to enjoy substantially more success as the years went by.
However, after Ducati was forced to break with tradition to put its trust in its younger proteges for 2021 - rather than snatch a huge name rider - it enjoyed arguably its main season since 2007, picking up seven wins between three different riders.
Heading into the winter as favorites to come out fighting in 2022, the man mentioned as the brains behind Ducati’s return to form - test rider Michele Pirro - says Rossi is excited to find out how far the bike has come, not least because his VR46 Racing team will be using GP21s in 2022 for its inaugural season in Moto GP.