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Despite another poor race in Jerez, Spain, Valentino Rossi has confirmed his commitment to Ducati and says he will see out his contract

Was Rossi content finishing in ninth spot in the second round of the 2012 MotoGP season at Jerez in Spain, a full 34 seconds behind the leader?

While Casey Stoner was over the moon with his first every MotoGP win at Jerez in Spain, the race (and potentially many future races) was overshadowed by Valentino Rossi's continued poor form.

The rumour mill is churning at a giddy rate, with talk that Rossi is not pushing the bike to its limit, has lost the plot and may even leave the Ducati team.

In the first race of 2012 in Qatar he told the Italian media "we've run out of hope," and said that he cannot ride the Ducati race bike in its present form.

However he recently spoke out about his Middle-Eastern outburst last week, saying: "Those words were the result of my disappointment."

In an interview before the Jerez race, Rossi added: "We have been trying to solve the same problems for over a year, without success, and that weighs on you. But I know that Filippo Preziosi and all the Ducati guys are working hard, and soon we will have updates to try."

He also stated that he has no intention of breaking his contract and leaving the famous Italian race team.

"Leave Ducati? I wouldn't even think of it. We have a contract in place, and I'll give my very best right up until the end. The chances of seeing me on another bike are virtually zero."

There are question marks over whether Rossi is giving his best however, with the nine-time Motorcycle Grand Prix Championship winner qualifying in 13th place for the Jerez race, while team mate Nicky Hayden took the same bike to third during qualifying.

If Rossi did end up quitting the team, his options may be slim. At least in the two-wheeled world… Where else could Rossi go? Yamaha would be unlikely to take him and Repsol Honda would be unlikely to spring a third like it did in 2011.

While Rossi continues to struggle with the Ducati GP12 race bike, a motorcycle that Casey Stoner won a world championship with, he expects that things will improve heading to Estoril in Portugal next week. There are more updates for the Ducati bike that have been developed and could be installed for the race, but it may be that 2012 will be a very trying year for the Italian racing virtuoso.

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Published : Monday, 30 April 2012
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