Valentino Rossi signs new two-year Yamaha MotoGP deal at Laguna Seca

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Valentino Rossi has confirmed in Laguna Seca that he has signed a new two-year deal with Yamaha.

The 29-year-old announced his new contract, which will see him stay in MotoGP until the end of the 2010 world championship campaign at least, at Yamaha’s traditional Friday night party at the Monterey Aquarium.

The seven-times world champion has long indicated his desire to stay with Yamaha, and it has been widely rumoured that he would sign for another two years.

Rossi has been with Yamaha since 2004, and his latest signing almost certainly means that he will end his illustrious racing career with the Japanese factory.

Rossi and Masao Furusawa, Executive Officer, Engineering Operations, of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd, signed the contract today at the Laguna Seca circuit.

Rossi said: “After so many years spent in racing, fortunately with so many victories, I needed a special motivation to take the decision to sign for two more years. The best place to find this motivation is Yamaha, since I have a great relationship with Yamaha’s directors, which comes from a mutual trust and loyalty.

“In our team there is a special atmosphere and with this new deal I can continue to work with my crew, where I am part of the project and part of the development of my M1.

“I had other opportunities but due to Yamaha’s efforts to give me the best bike in the best environment, I have decided to stay with Yamaha for two more years. This contract means that Yamaha is the manufacturer I will have spent most of my career with. This means more than a thousand words”

Rossi goes into tomorrow’s 32-lap American GP holding a 16-point lead over injured Honda rival Dani Pedrosa, while he is 20-points clear of a resurgent Casey Stoner.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt