After Hayden ****ed over Yamaha last year, I'm hesitant to believe anything until an official announcement is made. Rossi could be just trying to squeeze more money out of Honda by threatening to leave.
While Rossi is arguably the most massively talented rider in the field, it is entirely possible that the magic cannot be transplanted to a different team with a different bike. In fact I would bet against it (wouldn't be a huge sum, though.) Rossi might still win races, but I can't imagine him streaking through the field at will and winning the race from behind as he has done a few times this year. In any case, Honda won't sit and lick their wounds. Nicky appears to be getting better by the race, now showing that he has what it takes to run in the lead draft in his rookie year. MotoGP is a super-steep learning curve---Nicky's own lap times would have been pole positions and lap records just a year or two ago----but he appears to be learning fast.
I would just say that Rossi swiching is bad for him, good for everyone else (including fans like me that are sick of watching Rossi-led parades.) Go Nicky.
If Rossi takes the gig w/ Yam and Colin ditches the Cube to take Rossi's seat I think that good things will be in store for Nicky. Colin is a great racer and will complement Nicky's style. Respol is most likely going with Rossi wich means Nicky will be hocking smokes next year. Honda better sign Colin quick and extend Nicky while they have the chance.
Rossi could win on a Vespa! I would like to see him on a Ducati, obviously (I am Italian), but he can win on anything. Last Sunday, after he went off course he started making up time at the rate of about half a second per lap!!! (or more like 710ths on some laps). Not on privateers, either, but on Gibernau, Hayden, Biaggi, etc., all people with bikes that must be either identical or very close to his. One had the feeling that with 6-7 more laps he would have come up on Biaggi. When the guy turns it on he is just awesome. He would have probably one so-so season (for him, meaning probably 3-4th at most in the final standings), while the bike gets tuned to his liking, then he would start winning again.
If I were Honda, I'd give him a whole boatload of money.
This will help prove once and for all if Rossi's name should be mentioned in the same breath as Lawson's. Eddie switched to the worst handling GP bike ever (1989 Honda) and won the championship. He didn't need a year of development or any of that crap. Oh, and he beat riders like Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz, Mick Doohan, Wayne Gardner, etc., so it wasn't like there was a lack of talent. Let's see if Val has what it takes. I hope this rumor is true.
I suspect that if Val jumps to Yamaha it's because they've shown him something new that we havent seen. It could be green (as in money), or it could be a new moto for the next season that we aren't aware of.
If he moves to Duc, as has already been said, everyday will be a holliday in Italy.
Kenny Roberts(Sr.) was the first rider that could dominate at will and "knew" that the fans didn't want to see a runaway race. We like to see the leaders dicing and swapping leads. I believe Valentino also knows this and has the talent to ride the wheels off of all of his current competitors. Ergo, the 1/2 second catch up laps on the last GP.
Maybe the dude's just bored? Imagine running at the front at will, winning whenever you want, even making huge mistakes and being able to catch back up. No challenge, why not try another bike if the money's there? Although I'm surprised he's not going with one of the Italian teams. $hit, you'd figure the Italian government would help subsidize something like that...