Italian MotoGP: Valentino Rossi poised for new Yamaha deal

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Valentino Rossi will postpone his retirement plans until the end of the 2010 season at least as he moves close to agreeing a fresh deal with Yamaha.

Rossi’s current two-year deal with Yamaha expires at the end of the 2008 season, and he is now mulling over a fresh extension with Yamaha bosses Masao Furusawa and Lin Jarvis.

The 29-year-old must now decide whether he wants to sign for one or two years having been at Yamaha since 2004.

Rossi told MCN: “I’ve already started to speak with Yamaha for the next contract and now the bike is so competitive I am very confident I will remain for next year or maybe the next two years.

“It is a big contract so we have a lot of things to fix but I already speak with Furusawa, and with Lin Jarvis and everybody is very happy to continue.”

Some rumours suggest that an announcement could be made just before or during Rossi’s home race in Italy this weekend as he has done in the past.

Others say he will use the British MotoGP at Donington Park on June 22 to confirm his future plans in what will be his 200th MotoGP appearance.

The seven-times world champion denied he had a deadline to finalise negotiations now he is representing himself without a manager, and he added: “Maybe we speak more in Mugello, but at this moment I haven’t decided. But we try to close as soon as possible.”

Will it be a one-year deal?

“I don’t know,” confessed Rossi.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt