Pics: Valentino Rossi back on a Yamaha in Valencia

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Valentino Rossi has made his long-awaited return to Yamaha’s factory MotoGP squad in Valencia this morning.

The 33-year-old was one of the first out on track in cool and cloudy conditions this morning but his YZR-M1 return didn’t last beyond a third lap as rain spots started to fall on the Ricardo Tormo track.

Rossi left the Yamaha garage with dozens of TV cameramen and photographers huddled around outside to catch the moment he jumped back on the YZR-M1 1000cc machine he will race with reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo in 2013 and 2014.

He had set a 1.44.158 after two laps when a short cloudburst disrupted proceedings just 10 minutes after the track had opened for the start of 2013 winter testing.

The nine-times world champion has moved back to Yamaha after a disastrous two-year spell with Ducati that saw him claim just three podiums in 35 appearances.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt