Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd has announced that it has signed a new two-year agreement with Valentino Rossi. The seven-time world champion will continue to race with the Yamaha Factory Racing Team for the 2009 and 2010 MotoGP World Championships.
The 29-year-old Italian joined Yamaha in 2004 and since then he has won two world championships, 32 races and taken 20 pole positions for the Japanese factory. He is currently leading the 2008 rider championship, having taken three wins and a further five podiums in the first ten races this year. Rossi will continue to race alongside Spanish youngster Jorge Lorenzo in 2009.
Rossi and Masao Furusawa, Executive Officer, Engineering Operations of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd, signed the contract today at the Laguna Seca circuit and made the public announcement at Yamaha US’s traditional Laguna Seca party at the Monterey Bay Aquarium this evening.
Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis commented, “We are obviously delighted to have secured Valentino for a further two years. I think this news will be very welcome for MotoGP fans and for Yamaha fans around the world. Valentino is an icon in this sport and he is on top form right now as he challenges to win his eighth world championship and his third title together with Yamaha. This signing confirms Yamaha’s four-rider line-up for 2009 so now we can concentrate our full efforts on bike development and team organization to make sure that we are in the best possible shape for next year.
“In the meantime we have many races to go this season and I hope that Valentino can win in Laguna Seca for the first time this Sunday to extend his championship lead before the well-deserved summer break – Forza Vale!”
Valentino Rossi added, “After so many years spent in racing, fortunately with so many victories, I needed a special motivation to take the decision to sign for two more years. The best place to find this motivation is Yamaha, since I have a great relationship with Yamaha’s directors, which comes from a mutual trust and loyalty. In our team there is a special atmosphere and with this new deal I can continue to work with my crew, where I am part of the project and part of the development of my M1. I had other opportunities but due to Yamaha’s efforts to give me the best bike in the best environment, I have decided to stay with Yamaha for two more years. This contract means that Yamaha is the manufacturer I will have spent most of my career with. This means more than a thousand words”