Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd is delighted to announce that Valentino Rossi will remain with the Japanese factory in 2007, racing for a fourth year with Yamaha's Factory Team in the MotoGP World Championship. Rossi will continue to spearhead Yamaha's Grand Prix challenge and bike development, as MotoGP enters a new era of 800cc racing in 2007.
Rossi has enjoyed huge success with Yamaha since he joined the factory just over two years ago and every one of his races has captured the true spirit of 'Kando', the Japanese word for the sensation of intense excitement that we experience when we encounter something of supreme quality.
The Italian won the championship with the YZR-M1 on his first try in 2004 and again in 2005, when Yamaha took a clean-sweep of Riders', Team and Manufacturers' Championships in the year of it's 50th Anniversary. 2006 has proved more difficult for the World Champion, with just one win so far this season after a series of unfortunate occurrences, but Yamaha has every faith that Rossi will recover his winning-form, starting at his home Grand Prix in Mugello this weekend.
Speaking from Mugello today, Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis commented, "We are firstly delighted that Valentino has chosen to stay in MotoGP. He is a great ambassador for motorcycle racing in general and extremely important to the global image of this sport. He is the most talented and the fastest rider on the grid and the benchmark to which others aspire.
"We are extremely happy that Valentino has chosen to continue his illustrious MotoGP career with Yamaha in 2007. Yamaha and Valentino have an excellent relationship and we have enjoyed great success together since our partnership was born in 2004. It's exciting news for Yamaha's fans; Valentino's worldwide appeal unites them under one banner and brings more and more people daily into the Yamaha 'family'.
"Of course it's of key importance to us that Valentino will now be in a position to lead the development of Yamaha's new 800cc project for 2007. His input will be invaluable and we believe we will be able to challenge to win the title next year with the new bike. Both Valentino and Yamaha relish the new challenge ahead.
"In the meantime our short term goal is to provide him with the means to defend his MotoGP title this year. We are confident that Valentino can recover from an unlucky start to his title defence, starting at our Factory Team's home race in Mugello this weekend."
"I'm very pleased to be staying with Yamaha next year", announced the 27-year-old from Tavullia, "These past two years with Yamaha have been two of the best of my career and I am extremely happy to stay with them and with my team. I believe I have made the right choice and I am very excited about the challenge of a new class of racing with Yamaha next year."