Following the news that Ben Spies will be leaving Yamaha at the end of the season, speculation has been rife as to whether this means that the probability of Valentino Rossi leaving Ducati to rejoin Yamaha has increased. Now Jorge Lorenzo has spoken out on the news.
Lorenzo was at Yamaha’s US headquarters filming one of the now customary humorous videos that portray Yamaha racers in various roles. First Jorge acknowledged the loss of Spies.
“It’s sad news to hear that Ben is not continuing. For Yamaha it’s really sad, because he has been a Yamaha rider for a long time. I think he has great potential, and I wish him good luck in the future. Now we have to see what is going to happen with the second rider in Yamaha.”
With the rumor mill in overdrive as a result, the championship leader was naturally asked about the prospects of Valentino Rossi rejoining Yamaha.
“I hear some rumours. And some rumours say that Valentino is going to come back. It could be a good thing for Yamaha. We have been a good couple in the past years, but it hasn’t been decided yet. My preference is to have a competitive rival in the team.”
Ducati News Today’s view is that Ben Spies rather cleverly left before he was pushed from the factory Yamaha team and that Andrea Dovizioso is the likely candidate to replace him based on his impressive podium performances in his first year on a Yamaha with only satellite equipment.
Valentino Rossi is likely to stay at Ducati, buoyed by the promise of Audi intervention in the Ducati development program and a desire to rescue his so far disastrous foray with the Italian brand. Once Rossi is signed, Nicky Hayden is likely to be dropped in favor of Cal Crutchlow who has reportedly been made a verbal offer by the factory team.
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