Valentino Rossi says he will try to be entirely unemotional when choosing his team for 2011, and will not be swayed by the temptation of forming an all-Italian alliance by leaving Yamaha for Ducati.
The reigning champion has openly admitted he would consider leaving Yamaha at the end of his current contract this year as he does not believe the team can continue running two equal number riders with him and Jorge Lorenzo. Rossi has identified Ducati as his most likely destination if he moves. But while acknowledging that a Rossi-Ducati partnership could be a popular one, he said he would be pragmatic and logical in his choice.
"In order to change, you must think you are going to a place where you feel better, and for me it's difficult to think of a place where I can feel better than at Yamaha," Rossi told Motosprint. "It would be nice to change because Ducati, for example, is an Italian make and the fans would be happy, but in the end you don't take these decisions just for an emotional reason. You must also think that you'll have to work there. So, we'll see."
He currently intends to continue racing in MotoGP through 2012 at least. "I think I can still race for three years at my best," said Rossi. "To race bikes is the thing I like the most in life."
With the issue of Lorenzo's presence at Yamaha apparently critical to Rossi's future decision, the Italian said he rated his teammate as his toughest opponent when it came to close racing, while not underestimating Ducati rival Casey Stoner's outright speed.
"Lorenzo is good at overtaking: when he comes up behind another rider, and he needs to get on quickly, he overtakes him immediately," said Rossi. "Certainly more than Stoner. When dicing, Lorenzo seems to me the hardest to fight with. I have to say that, for this reason, he is also the most enjoyable to fight with. Lorenzo does not avoid dicing.
"They each have their own styles. It's hard to say, because they both have strengths and weak points. However, I can say that Lorenzo is a bit more similar to me, while Stoner is different, he is very instinctive, and he's very good at going quick immediately."