Valentino Rossi says Ciao to Yamaha

Valentino Rossi’s Diary

As you will all know by now, at the end of this season I will be saying goodbye to Yamaha and moving on to a new place in the (MotoGP) paddock.

This was not an easy decision to make and I want to take this opportunity to thank you, all of the racing fans, for making it such a special seven years with Yamaha.

I have won four (MotoGP) world championships and many races and it has been a truly beautiful partnership. I will never forget falling in love with my (Yamaha) M1 for the first time in Welkom when I won the first race with Yamaha; memories like that will stay with me forever.

Next week I will travel to the Yamaha headquarters in Japan to say goodbye to everyone at the factory and I am sure it will be a very emotional day for me!

Recently we had a very sad day when we lost Shoya Tomizawa (Moto2), a fanstastic talent and a truly nice guy – simpatico, as we say in Italy.

Unfortunately, despite the very best safety gear, we are always at risk from fluke accidents like this and there really was nothing to be done.

The safety commission meets at every race to discuss how to constantly keep improving the safety of our sport so of course we had a big discussion in Aragon, but we know that everything that could have been done, was.

All of our thoughts are with Shoya’s family and friends and we will miss him a lot in our MotoGP family.

Even if the end of the season isn’t going to be exactly how I imagined it, because of the problems with the shoulder, I still want to do the best I can for Yamaha until I leave.

Jorge has done an amazing job this (MotoGP) season, he’s been so strong and consistent and he really deserves this title, so if there is anything I can do to help of course I will be happy.

Ciao, Vale 46 (Sept. 28)

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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).