Author: Oli Rushby in Qatar Posted: 19 Mar 2016
Valentino Rossi will continue racing in MotoGP with Yamaha until the end of 2018, it has been confirmed this morning.
The Italian becomes the first rider to put ink on paper for the 2017 MotoGP season in an agreement that will see him race until he is at least 39-years-old.
Rossi had originally said he’d make a decision on whether he’d continue racing after ‘five or six races’ but after a positive pre-season testing and strong start in Qatar, the nine-time World Champion already has his mind made up.
“I am very happy to announce that Yamaha and I have extended our contract and will continue working together in MotoGP for the next two years. I am very satisfied with this decision, because it has always been my plan to compete in motorsports for as long as I can be competitive and find it enjoyable at the same time,” says Rossi.
“Ever since I returned to Yamaha in 2013 I have felt like I am home again and this showed in the results. I get great enjoyment out of working with my crew and the rest of the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team. Their support for me has known no limit and I want to thank them sincerely for that. I’m feeling greatly motivated to keep riding my YZR-M1 for the best results possible this year and the following two seasons."
It’s likely Rossi will again line-up alongside Jorge Lorenzo in the Yamaha squad, but, despite the Spaniard saying he’d like to have had his contract sorted by the start of the season, he is yet to put pen to paper with the Movistar team and it’s rumoured he has a big-money offer on the table from Ducati.