MotoGP: Valentino Rossi Yamaha Finale

Valencia Quotes on Valentino Rossi

Although he didn’t win the 2010 MotoGP title, Valentino Rossi finished off his final race with Yamaha in true championship-winning style.

The Valencia race was Rossi’s 117th and final appearance on the factory Yamaha, bringing their seven-year relationship, which included four world titles and 46 wins, to an end. At Valencia, Rossi finished third behind Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner and the winner, 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.

During his cool-down lap, Rossi stopped, leaned the Yamaha M1 against a the guardrail, and gave it a farewell kiss on the windshield. This affectionate kiss was similar to what the 31-year-old Italian did back in 2004 after his first win with Yamaha at Welkom in Africa.

Valentino Rossi says: “Honestly I’m happy with this final result with Yamaha, because we had a difficult weekend here. I didn’t get a good start but I realized straight away that I was much faster today and that my bike felt good. At one point I thought I might be able to win but in the later part of the race I just didn’t have enough strength to stay with Lorenzo and Stoner, this is a very hard track when you’re not completely fit. I started to make a few mistakes because I didn’t have enough power to stop the bike so after a bit I decided it was better to slow down and keep my third place.”

“Arriving on the podium was my way to say thank you to my bike, to Yamaha and to all the people who have worked with me in these seven seasons. It’s been a great experience and I have enjoyed it so much. Forty-six is a great number of wins – of course I wanted more but I think I can be happy with what I have done here.”

“We have finished the season strongly with five podiums in a row and after such a difficult season we can feel happy about how we have ended. It’s been a wonderful seven years, great fun with a special atmosphere, many fantastic victories and four world championships. I stopped with my bike after the race today just like I did at Welkom when this story began, it was the right way to say goodbye to ‘her’. Thank you to everyone, we have wonderful memories.”

Some of the people that Rossi has worked closest with over the seven-year relationship with Yamaha had much to say about Rossi, including Yamaha MotoGP Boss Masao Furusawa and Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing Lin Jarvis.

Masao Furusawa says: “I would like to thank Valentino very much, I started in MotoGP in 2003 and it was a terrible year, it was almost like I was in hell! I really wanted to make the YZR-M1 a better bike but the more investigated it, the more I realised I needed something else, more than the bike.”

“So we found Valentino Rossi. First of all I didn’t believe Valentino would come to Yamaha because the bike wasn’t great but somehow it worked. After South Africa in 2004 I felt like I was in heaven, it was a very exciting and memorable year. In 2004 Valentino was the only one who could win on the YZR-M1 so he contributed a lot to developing the bike.”

“This year not only Valentino but also three other riders were fast so it’s clear that our YZR-M1 is a pretty good bike. This is mainly because of Valentino’s contributions over the years so I really appreciate that and I want to wish him all the best in the future.”

Lin Jarvis says: “In 2003 when we had our worst year ever in GP racing and finally we said that whatever we were going to do, without Valentino Rossi on the seat it wasn’t going to work! That was the point where we decided that we needed him. There were some exciting and secretive negotiations with Valentino and it was a very important decision but, with the backing of Masao Furusawa and the President of Yamaha Motor Company, we made it happen.”

“It was ‘do or die’. With a huge commitment from Yamaha, the engineers and everybody in the team we made it work. We are very, very grateful because Valentino’s arrival really turned things around for Yamaha and we came back to victorious ways. We are incredibly thankful and grateful to him for that.”

“We’ve had so many exciting and enjoyable moments with him and with the crew that he brought with him, who are great guys. Today we will be saying goodbye to a great number of people including Davide Brivio, Jerry Burgess and the whole crew. We’ve had a super time, it’s been a really excellent team and we will miss them tomorrow, it will be a strange day.”

Rossi finished off the Valencia round by thanking everyone at Yamaha for their work and dedication that helped the nine-time world champion achieve much success.

Valentino Rossi says: “This is a very emotional day but I’m very happy as well because I don’t have any regrets and there have been no bad moments or thoughts throughout these seven seasons together with Yamaha. From the beginning it was something great and we worked very well together.”

“Like in life, in sport the results are crucial but just as important is the enjoyment and we had this at Yamaha. We had a great fusion in my team – the Australians, the Italians, the Japanese, the English and many more…a lot of people all together having fun. If in 2004 somebody had told me that I would win four world championships with Yamaha and 46 Grand Prix I would have signed in blood! I am happy.”

“I have to thank first of all Masao Furusawa because we went through some difficult moments but we were able to improve the bike and make it the best machine, then I just have to say a big thank you to everybody who helped me in these seven seasons, and wish everyone good luck.”

Now Rossi will start his work with the Ducati Team, where he’ll be teammates with the American Nicky Hayden. Rossi will have his first taste of Ducati at the traditional post-season tests at Valencia, which are slated for Tuesday and Wednesday.