Valentino Rossi signs new two-year Yamaha deal

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 02 July 2014 13:35

Valentino Rossi has penned a new two-year deal with Yamaha’s factory MotoGP squad.

The Italian made it clear right from pre-season testing in February that he wished to clinch a new two-year contract to remain on a YZR-M1 for 2015 and ’16.

And a brilliant opening half to the current campaign has got the 35-year-old the new contract he was seeking to ensure his world championship career will span two decades.

Rossi made the announcement via his official Twitter feed @ValeYellow46, which has almost 2.7m followers, earlier this afternoon.

Rossi is currently tied for second place in the world championship rankings with Dani Pedrosa and he has scored five podium finishes in the first eight races.

That’s just one short of the total number of top three finishes he claimed in 2013, when he found it difficult adjusting back to the YZR-M1 after a torrid two-year stint with Ducati.

He drew fierce criticism at the end of 2013 for unceremoniously dispensing with the services of long-term crew chief Jerry Burgess, replacing the Aussie with Italian Silvano Galbusera.

That key personnel change and Rossi working tirelessly to morph his riding style to suit the latest spec YZR-M1 has paid off.

He came close to winning the season opener in Qatar and also led the recent Catalunya clash for long periods, only to be denied in both by formidable reigning world champion Marc Marquez.

Yamaha is still locked in negotiations with teammate Jorge Lorenzo over a new two-year deal, though the Spaniard has also talked with Ducati and Suzuki management.