Valentino Rossi Switches

20/08 MILAN (Reuters) – 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 Italy’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 Australia’s Casey Stoner said last month he would be leaving for Honda next year.

By Nate Ryan, USA TODAY

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