Official: Valentino Rossi quits Ducati image

Valentino Rossi, the nine-time world champion will leave Ducati team at the end of this season and will return to Yamaha.

In a short statement, Ducati said:

“As the MotoGP series awaits its return to action for the August 19 Indianapolis Grand Prix, Ducati announces that its working relationship with Valentino Rossi will conclude at the end of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship.
“Ducati wishes the Italian driver all the best in the new challenges he will face, and will in the meantime continue to do all it can to ensure growing success in the last part of the season,” the company said.

Rossi enjoyed a very successful time at Yamaha, which he joined from Honda at the start of the 2004 season.
With the Japanese squad, the nine-time world champion took the titles in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009 and scored 46 victories before leaving for Ducati at the end of 2010.

As for money, various European reports say the Audi AG-owned Ducati offered Rossi a two-year contract of around $40 million to continue on the GP12, though Yamaha will likely offer a much lower amount.