Valentino Rossi signs Yamaha MotoGP contract extension

Seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has signed a new, two-year contract extension with Yamaha

Valentino Rossi signs Yamaha MotoGP contract extension

The 37-year-old returned to Yamaha in 2013, and the new deal takes him to the end of the '18 season.

Rossi had already outlined his intent to secure a two-year contract, before then potentially exploring additional opportunities in car racing.

"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," he said.

"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 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."

Second in last year's championship to team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, Rossi took four race wins in 2015, the most since the year of his last title, '09.

With all of the factory riders out of contract at the end of this year, what is likely to be Rossi's last MotoGP deal is the first cog of the silly season to fall into place.

"I cannot think of a better way to start a new season than for both parties to make this strong commitment," Yamaha MotoGP boss Lin Jarvis said.

"From Vale's side [it's] a statement of commitment to the sport he loves and towards the Yamaha brand.

"From Yamaha's side [it's] 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 second 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."

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