20/08 MILAN (Reuters) â€“ MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi will switch to Ducati from Yamaha for next season, delighting millions of his bike-mad compatriots who have yearned to see the sporting great finally race for the Italian team.
Rossi, arguably Italyâ€™s most famous sports personality thanks to his extraordinary skill and madcap antics, has won his seven top class world championships with Japanese teams.
The 31-year-old Rossi, a winner of nine motorcycling world titles in all, sparked rumours of a departure from Yamaha by entering the last year of his contract without a new deal.
He also said it was awkward being team mate with current championship leader Jorge Lorenzo given they were both so strong.
A vacancy at Ducati arose after Australiaâ€™s Casey Stoner said last month he would be leaving for Honda next year.
By Nate Ryan, USA TODAY