Valentino Rossi will make a sensational return to the factory Yamaha MotoGP squad after signing a two year deal that will see him line up alongside bitter rival Jorge Lorenzo in 2013 and 2014.
The move will see him reacquainted with the Japanese manufacturer where he enjoyed one of the most successful periods of his illustrious career.
Rossi first rode for Yamaha in 2004 winning the title immediately before reclaiming it again in 2005. Having surrendered his crown to Casey Stoner in 2007, Rossi won again in 2008 and 2009 after a fierce year long battle with Lorenzo.
Yamaha’s Motor Racing Managing Director, Lin Jarvis said: "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.
“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 and 2014 World Championship titles."
Rossi move back to Yamaha is a bitter blow to Ducati who have now lost their greatest asset. Rossi’s original move to Ducati two years ago was billed as a dream partnership, but in reality it has been a nightmare.
In 2011, Rossi’s best result was third meaning that it was the first time he’d failed to win a single race in a season since his GP career began and 2012 does not look like it will be any different.
Despite the recent Audi takeover of Ducati and huge efforts to convince Rossi to stay at Ducati and try and fix the issues of the Desmosedici, Rossi could not be convinced to re-sign, dealing a massive blow to the company.
For full insight and analysis of what this means for Yamaha, Ducati and MotoGP see MCN out on Wednesday 15 August.