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Honda confident that Rossi will sign before Motegi

Honda confident that Rossi will sign before Motegi

Honda confident that Rossi will sign before Motegi

With rumours abound that Valentino Rossi will swap his RC211V Honda for one of the other MotoGP contenders next year, HRC Sports Manager Carlo Fiorani has moved to quash any of those rumours by saying that he is confident that Rossi will be signing for the Japanese giants before the Gauloises Pacific GP at the Honda-built circuit of Twin Ring Motegi.

"We have had several meetings with Valentino's management, and after Estoril we finally drafted a contract," confirmed Fiorani. "It is currently in Japan with Honda's legal department, and this week an amended version will be sent to Valentino's legal representatives in London and Italy. Hopefully we should get a positive answer from Valentino between now and the Motegi GP, so maybe in this coming week we will know for certain if Valentino is going to remain with Honda for the next two years".

Contract negotiations have been ongoing between Honda and Rossi since July, as confirmed by HRC president Sugura Kanazawa in Estoril, however there have been sticking points for both parties. Fiorani now suggests that even these final wrangles are being ironed out as we speak, "The contract is agreed 90% with Valentino; we fixed all the main points – the length and the fee for example. However there are a couple of, not formal, but substantial items which are very important for Honda, and for Valentino of course. Still we have to find an agreement on these parts. That's the job this week, to find a solution for these items".

With a Honda manufacturers championship now secured after the race in Rio, HRC now want to tie down their most prized asset, who has brought them the majority of their wins this year once more. The factory are in no doubt that they want Rossi to continue and are positive that he will remain with them, having left the ball in his court. "I am confident," says Fiorani, "but I will be more sure when Valentino agrees and the signature is on the contract. That will make me very happy".

MotoGP, 2003, Valentino Rossi

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