Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
has announced that Valentino Rossi will remain with the team through 2016. The Doctor has been hounded in press conferences lately regarding his future, indicating each time that he desired to stay with the team, and that contractual particulars were the primary hold-up in announcing his decision. At the beginning of the season Rossi left open the option of retiring if his results didn't improve during the initial rounds of 2014. Rossi has enjoyed his best season in some time though, taking podiums in five of the first eight rounds. He's currently tied for second in the championship with Respol Honda's Dani Pedrosa.
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, offered these remarks in a team press release announcing the contract extension:
“I am very happy that we have concluded the agreement with Valentino for 2015 and 2016. Since his return to Yamaha in 2013 it’s been a very positive experience for everybody involved. After two difficult years ‘away from home’ Valentino returned last year, not only to us but also to his beloved YZR-M1. Fans of racing across the world were happy to see him rediscover his competitive performance and witness him take pleasure in riding and having fun again on two wheels. The “fun factor” is crucial to Valentino to get results – in fact when he first joined us in 2004 one of the most important motivations for his move to Yamaha was his desire to create an environment where he could enjoy racing. His enjoyment is obvious to all who meet him at the MotoGP events or who see him race on TV and is reflected in his excellent race results this year where he is currently in second position in the World Championship. We look forward to the next two and a half years together and it is our intention that Valentino will remain with Yamaha until the end of his sporting career and beyond.”
“I am very happy to announce that I have signed a new contract with Yamaha to continue together in MotoGP for the next two years. I am very proud of this announcement. It’s very important to me because I really enjoy working with my crew and all the guys from the team, both the Japanese and European members that have been with me almost my entire career. It’s great because this was my target; I wanted to continue, I am feeling good and I’m motivated to keep giving my best. I am very happy that I can keep riding my YZR-M1, that has been my love for so many years and will still be my love this year and the following two seasons. A big 'Thank You' to everybody, I will try to keep giving the maximum to arrive in front and make good races. Enjoy!”
It remains to be seen what Rossi's teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, will do as his current contract is set to expire at the end of 2014 as well. The Mallorcan said in a recent interview with MotoGP that he'd like to remain with Yamaha, even suggesting that he'd be pleased to finish out his career on the team, but that a final word on the immediate future won't be announced until financial issues are settled.