When one of the senior executives with Dorna stated several weeks ago in an interview words to the effect that Rossi “would be on a competitive bike next year“, speculation ran wild. Since then, Rossi has publicly asserted his devotion to Ducati and cozied up with the brass at Audi, Ducati’s new owner.
Now, a French web site is quoting the Honda boss (HRC head Shuhei Nakamoto) as stating “For next year, it was not possible to integrate Rossi into the official Repsol team [which will now consist of the Spaniards Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez], but I am willing to offer him an official bike in a satellite team.” Nakamoto went on to indicate, reportedly, that there could be no bad blood between himself and Valentino, because Nakamoto was in charge of the Honda Formula 1 effort when Rossi rode for Honda.
You may recall that Rossi’s late good friend, Marco Simoncelli, rode a full factory Honda race bike while under a satellite team’s umbrella. Apparently, the same option would be available to Rossi in 2012.