These days Rimini is the centre of world motorcycling, or at least its political side. Romagna, the land of engines, is hosting the General Assembly of the FIM, the International Motorcycle Federation. Yesterday, the delegates of the National Federations reconfirmed Jorge Viegas at the helm (with an overwhelming majority of 99%) and the re-elected President wanted to celebrate the renewed mandate… by sharing some news.
Interviewed by Gianluca Gafforio of RAI TV, he commented on Suzuki's withdrawal and the fact that next year Yamaha will only have 2 bikes in MotoGP: “I don't see this situation as being particularly good, but I think it will only be for 2023. In 2024, Valentino's team Rossi will switch from Ducati to Yamaha, for now it's an idea and nothing is confirmed, but I'm sharing some news. There will be 6 Ducatis and 4 Yamahas” were his very words.
So what has been rumoured for some time is becoming reality: the Doctor will return to the Yamaha family, no longer as a rider but as a team owner. It’s a move that is not so obvious, because the VR46 team with the red bike isn't getting along badly and the fact that Marco Bezzecchi became Rookie of the Year on the Desmosedici is proof, moreover in a season in which the M1 had quite a few problems.
On the other hand, 8 Ducatis on the grid are an exception that even in Borgo Panigale they knew would not last long. Paolo Ciabatti, the sporting director of Ducati, has repeatedly stated that in the near future the number of bikes from Bologna would decrease, even though, it is worth pointing out, the contract signed by Ducati and VR46 actually has its natural expiry at the end of 2024.
However, an old adage says that contracts are made to be broken and even more so, if reasons of state prevail.
So far that’s the big news, but the way and time in which it was communicated sort of leave a bad taste in the mouth. Above all because it was given by Viegas, the President of the FIM, therefore a body considered to be super partes. Too bad that Latin is now a dead language and perhaps the meaning of these words is becoming unknown.
What is MotoGP? A sport, a show, a business: all 3 of these definitions are valid, but it would be better if they complemented and balanced each other. The president's hot news, however, suggests that this is no longer the case. Without stopping to bring up the free market, after certain declarations the doubt arises that strategic decisions fall almost from above, decided in a room of buttons (where Dorna has the greatest importance) in which they try to press the right ones to increase the interest of a championship that is going through a difficult moment.
As Valentino Rossi was the deus ex machina (you'll forgive us once again for the Latin) for many years as a rider, we must now try to understand if he can also be one as a manager. The Doctor and Yamaha together again: that’s the headline and once again it’s something to talk about. Without stopping there, of course, because at this point why not imagine that Valentino can also take over the reins of the factory team?
Everything is permitted, even if Rossi, in recent months, has been happy to be a racing driver, and one of his short-term dreams is to race at Le Mans, not get headaches behind the pit wall. It doesn't matter, as long as everyone talks about it everything is hunky dory. Even if it has to be the FIM President who gives some news…