Yamaha have announced the signing of Valentino Rossi on a two-year deal starting in 2013, reuniting the partnership which won four world championships in the last decade. The nine-time world champion will join Jorge Lorenzo once again, a team which won riders, teams and manufacturers titles together in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Rossi will therefore end his two-year association with Ducati which has so far failed to produce a single victory and just two podium finishes for the Italian. Frustrations had clearly been building in the Rossi camp and Ducati made the announcement early this morning of the parting of ways, making Yamaha's subsequent statement inevitable.
Managing Director Lin Jarvis is delighted to be bringing the 'super team' of Rossi and Lorenzo back together and believes it signals their intentions for the next two years.
“This announcement is once again excellent news for Yamaha. In June we were able to sign Jorge Lorenzo for the 2013-14 campaign and now we are able to confirm Valentino Rossi for the next two years. In doing so we have been able to put together the strongest possible team to challenge for victories and to promote the Yamaha brand. We have run this 'super team' together in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and during that time we achieved the 'triple crown' titles with Rider, Manufacturer and Team World Championship victories for three consecutive years.
The target for the future is obvious and we will do our utmost to achieve our goals. I have no doubt that with the experience, knowledge, skills and speed of these two great champion riders we will be able to challenge for many race wins and for the 2013 & 2014 World Championship titles.
The signing of Valentino completes our future planning for the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team. Now that this is done we will put our 100% efforts into completing the job at hand and to supporting Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo in their search for race victories and for Jorge's 2012 World Championship title challenge.”
With the two factory Yamaha seats now filled for next year, the 2013 rider line-up is starting to look much clearer. Speculation will now surround the vacant seat at Ducati with Cal Crutchlow among those to be linked while any resulting opening at Tech 3 will also be appealing.