The news had been coming for a month or so, but at last it has been announced officially. Valentino Rossi has signed a two-year extension of his contract with the Movistar Yamaha team, and will race with them in MotoGP for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

For the past few races, Rossi had said he had been close to signing a new deal, but had a few details still to clear up. Those details had been resolved at some point between the Barcelona and Assen rounds, with Rossi’s new contract signed at Assen.

The new contract is a result of Rossi’s very strong showing this season, a major improvement over 2013. Rossi has already matched the number of podium finishes he had last season, with four 2nd places and one 3rd, though he has not yet managed to win a race, as he did in 2013.

Improved braking performance from Yamaha has helped make Rossi more competitive, as has a change in riding style. The gamble to replace Jeremy Burgess with Silvano Galbusera as crew chief has also paid off richly. Whether the improvement has come from technical improvement in setup, or a result of increased motivation from the pressure Rossi put himself under with the move remains to be seen.

With Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez now set for the two seasons, the waiting is for announcements of the second riders at both the Repsol Honda and Movistar Yamaha teams. Dani Pedrosa is reported to be close to renewing with Honda, with a deal likely to come either at the Sachsenring or shortly afterwards.

Negotiations with Jorge Lorenzo are taking a little longer, though it seems almost certain that he too will stay where he is. Lorenzo’s options are limited, with the only realistic alternative a seat at Ducati. That, however, is too much of a gamble for a rider chasing championships.

Source: Yamaha Racing; Photo: © 2014 Tony Goldsmith / TGF Photos – All Rights Reserved

  • Vinod

    Go Vale Go. This is indeed a very good news and please please bring back the old days of fantastic racing. Its so boring to see Marquez always winning.

  • Jw

    I was researching the riders salaries this morning and came away thinking there definitely is the “Haves” and the “Have nots” some riders making under 300k per year and Mr. Forbes here running at the 30 million bracket.

    Don’t get me wrong, he is earning his living. The big business behind Motogp makes way more thanVR.

    Just an observation.

  • keiths04

    Its not MM93 fault for being amazing, VR is for now the GOAT of motogp and it will take a lot to surpass his achievements but there is a new breed of talent out there now and its their turn.. MM93 will be amazing to see these next few seasons, that boys a beast no matter how u put it. Hes not #1 just by luck. Hes exactly what the sport needed right now, a game changer. Everyone else better step their game up if they want to have a chance.

  • Really like that new Akra exhaust on the M1 looks wicked!!

  • Bruce Monighan

    Man, what a great announcement. I love watching that guy race and listening to him talk about racing. He will go down in history as one of the all time greatest and will be at those Yamaha riders of history events and autograph signings for years to come. Yamaha did themselves proud by keeping Rossi in the family and they will reap benefits long into the future for that.

    Lorenzo? Well he may have lost his mojo and is definitely playing second to Rossi at the moment. Contract renewal times are a bad time to be hitting an all time performance low.

  • Ken Williams

    If Lorenzo does return, who will Yamaha focus their development of the bike around?

  • Good question, Ken. I’m guessing that Yamaha will try to keep development more rider-agnostic as a means of helping to ensure adequate performance across both factory riders and satellite team bikes. That said, we’ll see. I’ve been wrong many times before. :)

  • L2C

    I knew Rossi wasn’t going anywhere. Last year I knew he wasn’t going anywhere. When he parted ways with Jeremy Burgess, it became crystal clear to me that he wasn’t going anywhere. His focus and ambition are too great to resist the greatest challenge to come along in a long, long while. Everyone will now take him much more seriously. More glory is in that man’s future.

    @ Trane Francks

    Yes, Yamaha have learned their lesson. And given Jorge Lorenzo’s performance this year, they have regrettably learned it very, very well. But Lorenzo will eventually respond well. He will adapt.

  • L2C

    For fun, and a little history, check this out;

    ▶ Valentino Rossi’s Day At The Office – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6KuGYF55p4

  • Stevenk27

    @Ken/Trane, if I was Yamaha I would be building the Yammie around Pol.
    That’s the future for the Yamaha Factory team.
    With Vale signing I can only assume Lorenzo will be leaving with Pol moving up to the factory team.
    Lorenzo to HRC maybe? Ducati?

  • Phil

    Good. MotoGp still needs him…..badly!

  • John

    u forget another brand for lorenzo to choose, suzuki…

    lorenzo better go for suzuki, much better, faster than yamaha and most challenging bike, compared to honda

  • Damn


    as stated befor jl or his manager don’t have contact with honda.
    development follow Pol? Did he ever develop any bike? Pol don’t want to rde like Jorge, an Vale is trying to bring back the M1 he won 4 titles with and it seems he’s doing a good job. think yamaha agree on that by givving rossi a contract!
    btw great to have rossi for another 2 years! hope yam wil be up to speed soon because its been a little silly this season so far with yam and the trouble they had!

  • Ken Williams

    Lorenzo on Suzuki? Not too sure about that. I thought that was pretty much a one ride team. Aside from K. Schwantz, no one other than Randy dePuniet has even ridden it. Ducati? Nobody can ride that thing. Going there is career suicide. The only option is staying on the Yam, and once again following VR’s lead. Change riding style or be relegated to middle of the pack racing.

  • smiler

    Seeing as Rossi has now started a Moto3 team. I would guess in three years time he will have a significant role in running Yamahahah’s GP effort either with his own team covering all or part of the different capacities or within the Factory. So for those who dislike him I guess that is a shame.

    Let’s just hope someone else with some charisma and the awareness of what makes MotoGP function well comes along to take over after he hange up his leathers. No one has so far and Dorna seem pretty lost because contriving to replace riders with character does not work.