Originally Posted by UngaWunga
Read between the lines. He could've been on a Honda team if he paid. There was no money for him to be on the 3rd string Honda team. No sponsors would pick him up. His only option to stay in MotoGP and get PAID to ride was Ducati team 2.
He won't be anywhere near the podium this year. He'll be racing for 8th like all the other Ducatis. Ducati won't make any huge leaps forward, it just won't happen.
And there's a reason why Yamaha wanted him to set up the bike and ride like Lorenzo, because that's what works with the tires. Fast and smooth, not WSBK-like. He even says that. He wanted to ride it like a WSBK bike, but that just won't work unless you want to be fighting for 8th. Even Crutchlow has conceeded that fact and cleaned up his riding. It's all about loading the tires and being smooth, even with the new construction. That's why Rossi couldn't ride the Ducati. He couldn't load the tires like Stoner could on that thing. Neither could anyone else.
Sure, he's a nice guy and a great racer and all, but he's clinging to the edges of the series before being dropped off back at the WSBK paddock.
I think you are overstating the dynamics at work. In any event, Ben stated once he decided to leave Yamaha, his first choice was World Superbike with BMW or the Panigale. That rumor spread at the time. But something happened in the middle of all that clutter and he ended up on the Ducati Junior Bike. Maybe he rationalized it, but he might have had another option or two.
I think it went down just like he said in that article. 1. He quit because he was insulted. 2. He was planning on doing a BMW or Panigale Superbike deal. 3. Ducati convinced him to take the ride alongside Crazy Joe instead. End of the drama.
Besides, there have been reports from credible sources that Yamaha wasn't unanimous in having Rossi back. It's a small paddock. Everybody probably knows who's who. Ben didn't just forget how to race a motorcycle. And while he admitted he didn't get the corner speed down, that doesn't mean he'd never get it. Josh Hayes was a journeyman privateer rider for most of his career. Wouldn't you agree he learned something in the last three seasons?
This should be entertaining, if not pretty. Crazy Joe and Dovisioso will be at opposite ends if the style spectrum. Nick and Ben will be somewhere between. Nobody knows what will happen, but I think Crazy Joe might excel, since he doesn't know any better. Nick might as well, simply because he's got more experience trying to make the turnip truck work.