Valentino Rossi Extends Yamaha Contract
With 112 wins across all classes, which includes 53 MotoGP-class victories aboard Yamaha YZR-M1 machinery over 10 seasons, Valentino Rossi is more successful than anyone currently competing Grand Prix motorcycle racing.
The closest rider is VR46's Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who has 61 across all classes. At 36-years old, Rossi shows no signs of slowing; he proved this in 2015 MotoGP by earning 15 of 18 podiums, including four wins, and missing the title by a mere five points to Lorenzo.
Just ahead of the opening race at Losail International Circuit in Qatar, Yamaha reports that it has signed Rossi for two more years. The Italian will pilot the YZR-M1 through the 2018 MotoGP Championship.
Rossi and Yamaha have much history; Rossi’s first race for Yamaha was the South Africa GP at the Welkom Circuit in 2004; he won that race, and continued with the Japanese manufacturer through 2010, earning four titles. He spent two sour years with Ducati before returning to Yamaha in 2013, finishing fourth overall that year. He then finished runner up in both the 2014 and 2015 MotoGP seasons.
“Ever since I returned to Yamaha in 2013 I have felt like I am home again and this showed in the results. I get great enjoyment out of working with my crew and the rest of the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team. Their support for me has known no limit and I want to thank them sincerely for that. I‘m feeling greatly motivated to keep riding my YZR-M1 for the best results possible, this year and the following two seasons.
“I also want to say a big 'Thank You' to my fans, who are always behind me every step of the way, making the races extra special. I will keep pushing at each and every Grand Prix so we can all keep enjoying MotoGP for more years to come!”
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing, says; “I believe the confirmation of the extension with Valentino will be music to the ears of Yamaha fans and MotoGP fans around the world. I cannot think of a better way to start a new season than for both parties to make this strong commitment. From Vale‘s side a statement of commitment to the sport he loves and towards the Yamaha brand; from Yamaha‘s side a confirmation of the recognition to the rider that has brought us 4 MotoGP world titles and who remains so passionate about his sport and is still highly competitive, as proven by his two 2nd positions in the last two seasons.
“When Vale returned home in 2013 it was “a decision for life”. This new Agreement confirms that Vale will indeed finish his motorcycle racing career with Yamaha. Before that however all Yamaha fans can enjoy three full seasons of exciting performances from “the Doctor” as he challenges to win his 10th World Title for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team.”