Valentino Rossi will compete in MotoGP until the end of 2018 after signing a two-year contract extension with Yamaha. The nine-time world champion had previously stated that he would decide his future once he had determined he was still competitive but on the eve of the season opener in Qatar, Rossi has already made his decision.
Rossi’s future had been the subject of speculation but today’s news will see him compete until the age of 39 and the Italian has paid tribute to his team and his supporters for keeping him motivated.
“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. 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!”
Yamaha’s Managing Director Lin Jarvis has also welcomed the news and remains confident that Rossi can achieve a tenth world title with the team.
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”.