View Full Version : "Rossi leaves Honda"

10-08-2003, 05:03 PM

The Spanish press is reporting that double MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has sensationally turned his back on Honda... and signed for Yamaha!

AS reports that the Italian was given until last Sunday's Pacific Grand Prix to sign a new Honda deal, but that deadline passed without a signature from the 24-year-old superstar - ending his Honda career.

Rossi is said to have declined a new Honda deal 'not because of money, but because of their mentality' and seems to have lost total trust in the company with which he could win his third consecutive premier-class title on Sunday.

The decision to supply similar machinery to all six RCV riders next season is thought to have angered Vale, and was seen as an attempt by HRC to undermine his number one status.

And so it is Yamaha, not previous favourites Ducati, whom the paper reports as winning the Italian's services for 2004, with the big money M1 move set to be announced as soon as the world title is wrapped up.

While the Spanish media is adamant the deal is done, until it is officially announced anything could still happen - remember the talk of Mick Doohan leaving Honda for Yamaha? - and desperate last gasp bids for the greatest motorcycle racer currently in competition can be expected... watch this space!

Nevertheless, should the switch take place, it will signal a huge step for the four-times world champion who has always been on the most competitive machinery since moving to the then 500cc class in 2001.

By contrast, the YZR-M1 won just two GPs in the hands of Max Biaggi last year, and so far in 2003 Yamaha's best result has been a lone third place, courtesy of Alex Barros, at the wet/dry French GP. Yamaha also haven't won a premier-class world championship since Wayne Rainey in 1993.

Meanwhile, these are the other rider rumours associated with Rossi's apparent move, as provided by El Mundo Deportivo, another Spanish paper:

Aprilia's Colin Edwards could take Rossi's place at Repsol Honda, but the Spanish oil company doesn't want two Americans so unless Hayden moves Repsol will switch their support to the D'Antin Ducati outfit with Hodgson and a Spanish rider (Checa or Xaus). Rossi himself will move to the Gauloises Yamaha Team, with Alex Barros moving to Fausto Gresini's Telefonica team alongside Gibernau.

~taken from crash.net WITHOUT permission!

10-08-2003, 05:25 PM
I hope its true.

10-08-2003, 05:40 PM
your rs250 looks awesome! do you have ny photos posted on this forum? Where did you get those stickers?

10-08-2003, 05:41 PM
pix on page 2 of the RS250 forum.
all info you need is there.

Ricky J
10-08-2003, 06:59 PM
Quite where all this leaves Aprilia is anyone's guess. It's sad to say it but right now a rider of Edwards' (or Haga's) caliber is wasted on that thing. Until the bike improves alot why pay a Big Name to ride it? Pour that money into engineering and development. I hate to write off next season before it happens, let's hope for some positive news...

10-08-2003, 07:22 PM
Edwards has an escape clause in his contract that allows him to leave if he's not in the top 10 (?) at year's end. He has admitted talking to Honda, saying that he needs to keep his options open because of his low placement this year. He also said he expects to stay with Aprilia and didn't spend the whole year developing a bike for someone else to win on. If a top position is offered by Honda, it would be tough to stay with Aprilia. He needs to win to help his career, and at this stage, he should pick the machine most likely to help him do that. He knows what Aprilia has and is developing, so he should have a good idea of how next year looks. I know Aprilia would grab Rossi if they could afford it, since they still consider him one of "theirs", and it wouldn't be out of the realm to see Rossi make such a move, but it is unlikely. It's tough to leave a winning team when you're the star, but lots of strange things happen in top-level racing.

10-08-2003, 08:01 PM
From reliable source:

Edwards signed on with Aprilia for TWO more years. After hearing what is going on with next years bike, it will make perfect sense.

Don't believe everybodys differential elaborate plans for Edwards... Occams Razor.

10-08-2003, 08:39 PM
Don't you just LOVE the silly season?
Well I'll be hanging with the Aprilia people at Philip Island so maybe I'll get soem good goss there ..

Personally I believe the Rossi thing is just a negotiating tactic to get what he wants.

Honda have the best bike and the best riders. I don't think even Rossi on a Yamaha would worry them and I think Rossi knows it would be hard to win against someone like Sete / Biaggi on Hondas and him on a Yamha.

Ricky J
10-09-2003, 12:07 AM
Oh, that it were true! Wouldn't it be great if Edwards were only toying with Honda's mind...

10-09-2003, 02:04 AM

"...Colin Edwards will escape from his Aprilia contract and join Nicky Hayden in the Honda works team... "

10-09-2003, 03:24 AM
on the Rossi deal ..


It's looking pretty definte he will ride for Gauloise Yamaha at US$11 million ..

The Edwards rumours are not confirmed however ..

10-09-2003, 03:51 AM
Originally posted by Fox
on the Rossi deal ..
It's looking pretty definte he will ride for Gauloise Yamaha at US$11 million ..

Damn, $11 million US to ride a motorcycle for a year. That's not a bad job.

10-09-2003, 04:14 AM
Colin as team mate for Biaggi, on a Pramac Honda will be the likely spot, as Repsol wont have 2 americans.....hey Fox, I'll probably see you around, do you mean just aprillia in general, or colin's team in particular?? I have a connection inside Colin's team, there will be announcements this weekend.....I did give away the hint in another thread, of rossi going to yam, and col to honda...I have heard that Jacque is a possible rider for aprilia.....and Haga will more than likely go AMA..... but who knows..... ;)

Ricky J
10-09-2003, 05:50 AM
Rossifumi, just what is happening with the RS3-04? Enough of all this rider gossip, let's hear some mechanical...

Ricky J
10-09-2003, 06:38 AM


10-09-2003, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by Ricky J


looks like jet lee in the latest starwars film part3:D

10-09-2003, 12:47 PM
Haga and junior.

10-09-2003, 02:08 PM
I did read somewhere that McWilliams had been talking to aprilia, that would make a good partnership, remember how well he performed on their v500 racer.:)

10-09-2003, 03:47 PM
Which would open up a Proton seat for Kenny Roberts's son Kurtis. :)

10-09-2003, 04:43 PM
The latest from MCN

10-09-2003, 07:54 PM
what if....

Beggio steps in this weekend to outbid Yamaha and Rossi replaces Haga; Edwards stays on.

That would be extraordinary.

Ricky J
10-09-2003, 09:53 PM
Put 'em on new 500cc V4s with Ditech engine technology, lay waste to the diesels...


10-09-2003, 11:22 PM
Damn..... I would love to have one of those 41 t-shirts. Haga-Bros.com doesn't work anymore. Anyone know the scoop?

10-10-2003, 12:30 PM
Olivier jacque is said to be "in contact with a team in Italy"
Could be the Aprilia MotoGP or 250 squad?

Ricky J
10-10-2003, 12:49 PM
A former 250 champion who has done very little with his big four-stroke, Jacque's usually slowest of the Yamahas. I read the story too...someone awaken me from this Aprilia MotoGP nightmare!

10-10-2003, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by Ricky J
A former 250 champion who has done very little with his big four-stroke, Jacque's usually slowest of the Yamahas. I read the story too...someone awaken me from this Aprilia MotoGP nightmare!

Don't worry RJ. Smoke and mirrors.

10-10-2003, 03:28 PM
I dont think Valentino will say what he is doing until he has the title won, which will probably be on Sunday.

Ricky J
10-10-2003, 03:48 PM
Now folks in the Rossi camp say an announcement won't happen until Australia, NEXT weekend.

10-10-2003, 03:51 PM
Was watchin QP1 today on Eurosport and Randy Mamola said he was "pretty sure" Rossi was going to Yamaha.
He is good friends with him.

10-10-2003, 05:32 PM
He is good on the Honda hes got now :(, wonder if he will be any better with the other make if he makes the move to another team. I think hes got that honda spot on, or just about spot on for rossi.


maybe other teams will pay him more ? I dont really know how this works though:angel:

10-13-2003, 08:20 PM
VR's only challenge left is to take an underdog consistently to the podium at the highest level of the sport. His pairing with Honda was as close to a sure thing as there is in racing and I believe his next step is to 'make' a factory.

That is what will feed his ego. With the eventual design to become an owner/partner in a new bike, much like Foggy/Petronas.

Admittedly Foggy has as yet failed to win.

Rossi has the ego to beleive he can achieve where others have failed.

Is Yamaha ready for such a deal? mmm...

Does Yam have the bike to win? How much does the rider matter? Next year in Moto GP should be very interesting.

10-14-2003, 06:01 PM
rossi must be out of his mind and biaggi will have the last laugh , cant he see GP is honda club ? even ducatis finished 20 second behind hondas and did he forget barross beat him last year on a HONDA ?

$ dont mean jack if he cant win cause winner gets the top contract next year and he will noolonger be one

Bill in OKC
10-15-2003, 01:40 PM
Those wacky GP guys...


It made my head hurt :shooter:

Ricky J
10-15-2003, 02:43 PM
Now that Edwards' departure back to Honda seems assured, and with Haga probably out, the Aprilia "wish list" seems like this: McCoy, McWilliams, Nakano, Corser, Jacque- apparently in that order. I like Shinya Nakano alot, he'd bring something to the team. Garry McCoy is a wildman but lacks time aboard a successful four-stroke. Neither does Jeremy McW but he's a known quantity at Aprilia and gives 100%.

10-15-2003, 02:45 PM
I'll take Nakano and McWilliams.

10-15-2003, 04:56 PM
Edwards stays.

RS250 Chester
10-15-2003, 05:01 PM
If the bike needs development, I'll take Corser.

I'd worry about McCoy, not knocking his ability, but he was frustrated with the Kawi. Just not sure about his development ability.

Corser might not win it, but I think he can point the bike in the right direction.

10-16-2003, 12:30 AM
its not rider fault cause mccoy and Kr JR won GPs in front of rossi copules years ago , i say screw honda and 4 strokes but admitedly they outclassed others

look at Edward finished 10 to 12th every race , no improvement at all , fact is hondas keep getting faster breaking lap records and its not just rossi , look at roockie tamada and hayden finishing top 5 while more expreinced riders finshing dead last ,

they will supply biaggi and gibrnau with same bike so next year we will see 6 identical rossi replicas and rossi better be on one of them if he wants to win and not on bike that noone been able to win with

10-17-2003, 09:15 PM
rossi hasn't been rossi since he joined honda, too much discipline too many rules, too easy to win. remember the aprilias he rode in 125 and 250 weren't user friendly bikes, the guy likes a challenge and he likes to do things his own way. if he's gone to a harder bike to win on then at least we'll get to see him riding 100%, thats something we haven't seen a lot of in the last couple of years

10-17-2003, 09:20 PM
Originally posted by dpmasunder
rossi hasn't been rossi since he joined honda, too much discipline too many rules, too easy to win. remember the aprilias he rode in 125 and 250 weren't user friendly bikes, the guy likes a challenge and he likes to do things his own way. if he's gone to a harder bike to win on then at least we'll get to see him riding 100%, thats something we haven't seen a lot of in the last couple of years

Very true. Rossi is most fun to watch when he makes a mistake and runs off the track. It is always so stunning watching him making his way back through the pack, riding a second/lap (or more) faster than he was before he made the mistake, passing other riders left right and center. I almost look forward to his infrequent mistakes, so long as he doesn't injure himself in the process. I think he'll be a lot more fun to watch on a slightly less capable bike.


10-20-2003, 08:53 AM
they will supply biaggi and gibrnau with same bike so next year we will see 6 identical rossi replicas and rossi better be on one of them if he wants to win and not on bike that noone been able to win with

ip2, still time to change your mind...;) . Better watch Melandri & Checa at the Aussi GP before deciding. I think Rossi will be pretty competitive on either the Ducati or Yamaha.

10-27-2003, 01:53 PM
If, as it seems, Rossi leaves Honda, this will be good for the sport.
Something as we had when we had Rainey, Lawson, Doohan & Schwantz all together on the track with 3 different bikes.
We could have Rossi on Yamaha, Capirossi on a Duc and Gibernau on the Honda, together with a lot of other good riders on similar bikes. Much better then having the best rider on the best bike. If Honda would accept what have been revealed as the denímands of Rossi, he basically wants to be treated as the nr. 1 rider of Honda, they would have to give him a better bike then the rest of the Honda riders. This would be really boring.

What about Aprilia? Hard to say. I think they will have to start all over again. The actual RS Cube is not working well, a new bike seems almost ready for 2004, but Edwards will not ride it and the bike has been probably developed following his instructions. A new rider will be another step back on developments.
The new rider could also be Barros. He is talking shit about Yamaha. On the other hand he is not a very good testrider. I don't see McCoy for the same reason. He has a very peculiar style and nobody is able to ride a bike with his settings. Haga is at least a bit of continuity but too wild. I would take McWilliams as the test rider for developments, know-how experience, and Nakano for future talent. Jacque is a talented and very fine rider as well but had a lot of crashes and has been riding under big pressure and most of the time injured.

My choice Mc Williams and Nakano or Jacque.


10-28-2003, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by Rossifumi
Edwards stays.

I'd get over it if I was you rossifumi......he's gone to honda....done deal. I'm picking a mac attack for aprilia....McWill and McCoy seem to me to be the favoured jockeys. Nakano would be wasted on the prilla....sorry guys, but I don't see it being any more competitive next year than it has been this year... ;)

10-28-2003, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by red_m
I'd get over it if I was you rossifumi......he's gone to honda....done deal. I'm picking a mac attack for aprilia....McWill and McCoy seem to me to be the favoured jockeys. Nakano would be wasted on the prilla....sorry guys, but I don't see it being any more competitive next year than it has been this year... ;)

Is it a "done deal" as everyone says?

I have not read an official release yet indicating so, and until one is procured, he remains with Aprilia. My rational stubborness for Edwards staying on with Aprilia is that he is HEAVILY compensated with the current Aprilia contract. The "buyout" clause can be used, however, a team would need to float the remainder of his salary to do so and there are only a couple teams capable, less who are willing, of such financing. Yes... anybody who can read the points standings knows there is every reason in the world for Colin to move to another team. It makes perfect sense, right? I place my bet, as I have cleary broadcasted from the begining, on him being there next year to develop the new motor.

I hope for Aprilia motogp fans I am right.

10-28-2003, 03:06 PM
The way I hear it he is gonna take a pay cut and go to the Gresini team with Gibernau.

Ricky J
10-28-2003, 03:19 PM
Jeremy McWilliams is doubtful for 2004- he is quoted today in a Valencia preview saying his strong desire is to remain with Proton and develop the V5 which has shown some real potential of late. Unless KR unload him J-Mac won't be on a Cube next year. Here's an interesting bit from motonline.com though: they claim Aprilia are about to switch to Bridgestone- ?- and sign Olivier Jacque- ?- and Frankie Chili. Maybe OJ will wield the pitboard? I believe Chili has enough knowledge and skill to help develop a bike, and nothing will be lost in translation, huh? He's a fantastic chap too. I say pair him with Garry McCoy who has stated in public that this is his last race on the ZX-RR.

An interesting sidebar is what happens with Adrian Gorst- insiders believe he might remain with Aprilia for 2004. A technical sort like him may enjoy the challenges faced in making the Cube work next year, and for sure he's given more autonomy than what he'd find at HRC. Keeping him in the black and red would be a coup for Noale...and would help in signing quality talent.

The last tidbit heard: Noriyuki Haga to the AMA aboard a factory Ducati.

By this time next week Colin will be testing his Honda.

10-28-2003, 08:05 PM
Thursday is official press release day rossifumi, but its one of the worst kept secrets anyway...haha....I know it for a fact cause I got it first hand!!

Dowzerr, he was going to, but has picked up a couple more sponsors, so hasn't had to after all......so I've been told.

Yep Ricky, as I understand it, Adrian has a 2yr deal with Aprilia, and has had a lot to do with the new engine etc, so will be staying on to help develop that next year. I'd heard a fair few weeks ago Jacque's name attached to a switch to Aprilia....would love to see Frankie in gp......and yep, weird that it appears as though aprilia are switching to tombstones.....what are they trying to do....make their own version of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE !!!

10-28-2003, 10:14 PM
I love Franki too but I think his best years are behind him and he has so many DNFs ... not really what Aprilia need ....

Ricky J
10-29-2003, 12:15 AM
Remember that Chili is doing battle aboard an old privateer Ducati, and not an ex-works one at that! There's some hard racing miles left in this tiger. Watching his race #1 victory at Laguna Seca last summer was absolutely magical.
For me it was THE racing highlight of 2003.

10-29-2003, 12:45 AM
Yes he has his moments but 7th in WSBK is not a great result ... Laconi came fourth and he already spent a year falling off the Cube!

Ricky J
10-29-2003, 01:17 AM
Laconi had the higher-spec motorcycle run by Scuderia NCR. More factory parts. It's interesting to note that the team shirt I personally bought from Frankie in July has all the sponsor logos but not one single Ducati logo or emblem- that might be rather telling in and of itself!

Agreed though, none of the prospects are Valentino Rossi- but don't dismiss Chili's heroic pole at Assen on what amounted to a warmed-over Ducati streetbike, with a time close to Rossi's RCV211. Amazing!

10-30-2003, 01:49 AM
Dont get me wrong - I like Franki - he's a great personality and at times an inspired rider. Plus I'm sure Aprilia would love to have an Italian on one of their bikes.

10-31-2003, 08:03 PM
When i was talking with Haga's Team boss Giacomo Guidino who is also a personal friend of Rossi's - said that he is going to Yamaha with a 5% chance of staying back with honda - Melandri is a great mate of Rossi's so it all makes sense.

i asked him wether Aprilia would ever whoo back Vale - & he said maybe in couple years when the Cube is alot more competitive

10-31-2003, 08:45 PM
chili is a loser because his bikes ALLWAYS been crap , he rode GXR750 and yamaha against ducatis which was totaly hopless , LOTSA CRASHES trying to keep up , i cant believe he is still racing ,now ridding a(slow)private ducati ,cube is crap so it be normal to give it to frankie , i remember him back in 80s with suzuki , he must be as old as mcwilliams , cube cost aprilia money and reputation , 2 years and nothing

11-01-2003, 03:12 AM
When was Chili on a Yamaha? I don't pretend to know everything about the man's long career. Don't forget he was on a factory Ducati and the Cagiva... He was the only one to get the Suzuki to win in WSBK. Outside of RYO I believe...

Key Walshe
11-01-2003, 09:23 AM
He's never rode for Yamaha, he joined WSB with Ducati (1995) and after the season when he had the incident with Foggy at Assen (1998 ) when he was forced out of the title race where it went to Sugo between Corser, Slight & Foggy, he left the Ducati team for the Alstare Corona Suzuki team and then last year he joined the NCR team and this year went to the even lesser team PSG-1 which didn't even have ex-work's bikes like but instead had customer spec 998RS'. It blew up alot with him having 9 DNF's (most of them mechanical problems) but he still had
7 Podiums, 1 win, 1 2nd and 5 3rd's
10 top 5 positions overall
14 top 10 positions overall
and only one race outside the top 10 at Oscherlaben when his bike started to faulter towards the end of the race when chasing Hodgson.
He also had
1 Pole position
and 2 Fastest Laps.

He's one of the most successful and competitive riders to ride in all the top series of racing, not to mention one of the most popular, being a very strong force back in 250's and also back in the 500's when he rode most notably the badly funded Cagiva C594! In WSB's he's had 51 podiums (16 wins, 14 2nd's and 21 3rd's) 8 poles and 26 Fastest Laps in 208 races! Not bad for a 39 year old who's still as fast as ever on an uncompetitive bike.

If he does go to the Aprilia Gp team then all the best to him, he'll be as popular as ever and could be just what the team need's to turn itself around.

Ricky J
11-01-2003, 11:14 AM
From just a promotional standpoint he'd be fantastic for Aprilia, a great personality with flair for the comic! And doesn't he also run a track school in Europe? Perfect, equip that outfit with new RSVs. Anyone for an Aprilia trackday with Frankie? Add to the mix his huge experience and heart of a tiger and to me the choice is too obvious- if he'll have Aprilia that is!

Here's something of a jaw-dropper: in attendance this weekend at Valencia for talks with Aprilia MotoGP is Shakey Shane Byrne:

Key Walshe
11-01-2003, 11:50 AM
It said in this week's MCN that he'd agreed a contract with Foggy Petronas but it was yet to be signed and would be announced later this week (after they went to print).

Contradictin story lines then there, wonder where he'll go as he's certainly one of Britain's rising stars along with James Toseland now on the factory Fila Ducati 999!

Ricky J
11-01-2003, 12:13 PM
Crash.net's story sounds like the most up-to-date because in it Byrne also addresses the Petronas issue. At best he might have a letter of intent with Foggy but you know how worthless those are! Unless he were engaging in a bit of industrial espionage by eyeing the Cube no way in hell he's gonna be hangin' out for tea with Beggio.

11-04-2003, 03:44 AM

11-04-2003, 04:54 AM
Is that meant to be funny??