Lorenzo Convinced Rossi Will Sign Ducati Deal

Earlier this week, a report from suggested that reigning MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi has already agreed to sign a multi-year contract with Ducati, while an official announcement on the matter would surface during the course of this weekend.

Piggybacking on that story, Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport asked his current teammate Jorge Lorenzo about such a prospect, trying to find out some more information about Yamaha's plans to keep Rossi or let him go. Apparently, the Spaniard's story matches the latest rumors, as he too sees the Doctor in a red race suit next year.

I see Valentino's future in red. I think it's likely he'll be at Ducati next year. But I would have preferred for him to stay with me at Yamaha, to race each other with the same bike,” said Lorenzo, according to the Italian publication. Realizing that he may have let some extra information slip away, he insisted he didn't meant he already agreed to extend his stay at Yamaha.

Ducati boss Filippo Preziosi also hinted that a clear offer has been made to Rossi and that the situation is not the same as before, but insisted that no decisions have been made regarding the 2011 lineup.

I've heard many strange rumors on this issue, some of them completely wrong, for example the story about the fabulous retainer (around 15 million euros for Rossi). I can say that the situation has changed compared to the past, that Valentino has the chance to either accept Yamaha's proposal, or to consider what we've told each other,” said Preziosi, according to the same source.

The deadlines to close the deals? I don't know. Let's just say I'd like to go on the summer break with ease of mind,” added the Italian boss, therefore spelling it out that Ducati plans to have it all cleared out by the American GP at Laguna Seca. However, it may happen a lot sooner than that, probably this very weekend, in Catalunya.

If deciding to join Ducati, Rossi would replace Casey Stoner, who seems to have already worked out a deal with Honda for 2011. Additionally, Tech 3's Ben Spies is expected to be promoted alongside Lorenzo at Yamaha next season, should the seat become vacant.
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