Yamaha Racing and the MotoGP Championship as a whole will enjoy two more years of Valentino Rossi, as the Italian has agreed to extend his contract with Yamaha for another two years.
Rossi’s continued interest to race in MotoGP likely doesn’t come as a surprise to many in the MotoGP paddock, as Rossi once again is at the pointy end of the stick when it comes to speed, team, and race package.
While he may not be the top pick on every journalist’s list to win the Championship, there is no denying that The Doctor is certainly in title contention, as we head into the season-opener at Qatar, and could easily prove “the experts” wrong with his 10th World Championship this year.
Rossi’s contract extension is also the first piece of the Silly Season puzzle, and now all eyes will be trained on the other side of Yamaha’s garage – to see what Jorge Lorenzo does in response. This is because paddock pundits are busy dissecting whether the Spaniard will stay with Yamaha, or if he will defect to Ducati in 2016.
“I am very happy to announce that Yamaha and I have extended our contract and will continue working together in MotoGP for the next two years,” said Valentino Rossi. “I am very satisfied with this decision, because it has always been my plan to compete in motorsports for as long as I can be competitive and find it enjoyable at the same time.”
“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!”
While Rossi’s contract extension may stuff up the plans for Yamaha’s train of younger riders coming up the GP ranks, no one can doubt the added marketing benefit that Valentino brings to the brand – Rossi easily being MotoGP’s biggest star.
Rossi staying in the MotoGP Championship for another two seasons also bodes well for Dorna, a company that has benefitted greatly from Rossi’s star power, and who would be up a marketing creek without a paddle if the Italian were to leave after this season.
“I believe the confirmation of the extension with Valentino will be music to the ears of Yamaha fans and MotoGP fans around the world,” said Yamaha’s MotoGP Managing Director Lin Jarvis. “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 four 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”
Source: Yamaha Racing