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Ducati has announced that Valentino Rossi will be leaving the team at the end of the 2012 MotoGP season, bringing an end to months of speculation about the Italian. A Yamaha return for the multiple Champion is expected to be announced in due course.
Annoyed by Yamaha, when he was challenged hard for the title by team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, Rossi switched to Ducati but has suffered two difficult campaigns with the now Audi-owned squad. For several weeks he has been expected to go back to Yamaha. His Ducati exit was made official through a press release issued on Friday morning.
‘Ducati announces that its working relationship with Valentino Rossi will conclude at the end of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship,’ the statement explains. ‘Ducati wishes the Italian well for the new challenges that await him and, in the meantime, the team will continue to give its best effort in order to improve over the latter part of the season.’
With 2006 Champion Nicky Hayden having already re-signed his contract, the statement adds that Ducati is now ‘in the process of finalising' its 2013 arrangements. Although Rossi claims to have three options for 2013, the return to Yamaha is expected by most in the paddock.
MotoGP is now preparing for back-to-back races in Indianapolis and Brno.
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|22 Jan||Poor weather affects Ducati test at Jerez|
|20 May||Hamilton enjoys Le Mans MotoGP visit|
|30 Apr||Video: Rossi drives NASCAR at Charlotte|
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|23 Apr||Rossi impresses during NASCAR test|
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|19 May||Pedrosa takes second win of the season|
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|18 May||Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Le Mans|
|18 May||Marquez takes second career pole at Le Mans|
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