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MotoGP: Intrigue, gossip and rumour - Rossi special

Valentino Rossi is widely expected to sign a two or three year deal with Yamaha in MotoGP and return to the bike he and Jerry Burgess converted from a pup to a winner in the space of one race in South Africa.

Have the factory got the money tpo pay his vast wages. No, probably not so will The Doctor be taking some blue-chip sponsors to the squad. Yes and we think, after various conversations at Silverstone and after, it looks likely to be his existing personal sponsor, Monster, and the San Carlo crisp company that loves MotoGP and Italian riders in MotoGP.

Where that leaves Herve Poncharal's Tech3 team (sponsor: Monster) and Fausto Gresini (sponsor: San Carlo) is probably in a difficult spot if it happens. But sponsors are cyclical and it's not unusual for them to try their hand at other things once two years are up. Unless they are Repsol and back the same bridesmaid for 72 months in a row…


Rossi said at Laguna the money was not important, he just wants a bike on which he can be competitive and the M1 is, of course, his bike. He may even try his hand at World Superbikes, again for Yamaha, in 2015 should there be a factory-backed team which, a little bird tells me, there will be come 2014 and it won't be run by Italians…

Speaking of Italians, a very well-placed one who isn't part of the media set, said that as well as Andrea Dovizioso being in talks with Ten Kate in WSBK, he has also been offered a ride on Ducati's GP13 but will more than likely turn it down as he has seen what it did to Marco Melandri and, latterly, Rossi and isn't about to wander down the same path. He is fairly furious he will miss out on the factory Yamaha and is considering sticking two fingers up to Dorna and leaving the building…

Soon-to-be-ex Yamaha employee Ben Spies hasn't cited his reasons for leaving the team but there has apparently been some rough and tumble between his Japanese employers and his mother, the redoubtable Mary.

Other, and less believeable, rumours include one that puts Karel Abraham on one of two M1s his dad would like to lease from Yamaha which would be difficult as the factory are only allowed to field four bikes and the other two, non-works, ones are in the middle of a two-year deal with Tech3…

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