Valentino Rossi is Italian and so is Ducati. So when Ducati signed Rossi for this year and the next, it was believed that this was dream pairing which would have the support of all Italians. It is well known that Rossi has a whole legion of loyal fans as does Ducati. So this signing should have brought the two legions together over on one happy ground. But that has not happened. While Rossi fans are fans of the rider, Ducati fans are fans of erm, the Ducati bike. The problem is that the Ducatisti do not want the character of the Ducati to be disturbed. It is unlike Japanese motorcycles and the Ducatisti want it to stay that way. And they are extremely suspicious of Rossi since he has a win at all costs attitude. They remember how he and his crew chief the legendary Jeremy Burgess have transformed the Yamaha into a championship winning bike by changing it completely. Now they are worried that the Ducati may become another M1 with Ducati badging. However, Rossi has stepped into allay their fears and has said that while his intention is to make the Ducati more rideable it is not to make another M1 out of it. Kevin Schwantz believes that by the end of this year the Rossi-Ducati combo will be winning races.