Valentino Rossi has done it again, from Gibernau to Lorenzo he has proven that he is the master of the mind game. It was reported earlier this month that Rossi claimed Lorenzo would not make the move to Ducati because, “It would take “balls” to go to Ducati, since he has none he will not go.” Rossi would of course like nothing more than to get rid of Lorenzo, as the man who has beaten him to a championship twice. Now it seems Rossi has gotten his way and used his psychological manipulation skills to push Lorenzo out of Yamaha, thus making the path to his next championship even easier. Many media outlets are claiming that Lorenzo already signed with Ducati. Saying that Lorenzo signed just before the COTA race, and claiming that Lorenzo is just sitting on the contract waiting till he feels like announcing the done deal. Lin Jarvis Yamaha lead man has even made statements saying that Lorenzo is leaving and that they (Yamaha) are allowing Rossi input on who will replace Lorenzo in the Yamaha garage. It seems Rossi has really played his game of chess well, arranging the pieces to best allow him to reach his long awaited goal of a tenth championship.
There is a reason that Rossi is a so feared in the paddock, it is more than just his ability on the track, his fans will boo you, sponsors may drop you and MotoGP itself seems to always has his back. He is the most successful rider in recent memory and will use his social, political and media saavy to mess with an opponents mind. The weak minded need not apply. As for Lorenzo, we hope that his paycheck is worth it. Much in the way that people criticized Cruthlow for going to Ducati, claiming it was just a money decision, I think too Lorenzo will face a backlash from fans. It is highly likely that he will suffer the same misfortune as other great riders who have went to Ducati. The list of riders to fail at Ducati is long, since 2003 when the Ducati Corse team first came to MotoGP only Stoner was able to show great success. Of Ducati’s 31 wins Stoner has 23 of them, Capirossi holds 7 and Bayliss the 1. Checa, Gibernau, Hoffman, Melandri, Kallio Hayden, Rossi, Dovizioso, Crutchlow and now Iannone, all are great riders but none could get even a single win on the fully funded factory ride. Will Lorenzo fair better? It is really hard to say, of course, it is reasonable to say that he has a good chance. Ducati is on an upward swing at the moment with increased horsepower, but the chassis is well known for instability in the turns and wearing down tires before the end of the race. It is always allowed riders to do well in the rain, but then again the rain is not Lorenzo’s forte, as we have seen Rossi destroy Lorenzo nearly every time it rains. So what does Ducati have to offer Lorenzo in the way of hope for a championship? It seems that the new ownership of Audi or team leader GiGi may be strong points, but it will be a uphill battle that will more than likely see Lorenzo finishing with results much like Rossi, Hayden and Dovizioso; 5th’s 6th’s and 7th’s. Let’s hope he can make the best of his final year at Yamaha