Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and Valentino Rossi will continue to race together until the end of the 2008 season.
The next two seasons will see Rossi contest as part of Yamaha's Official Factory Team, with which he has already won two MotoGP World Championship titles since joining the Factory in 2004. The Italian, who turns 28 this month, has won 25 Grands Prix during his three seasons with Yamaha and currently stands third in the all-time Grand Prix winners list.
Rossi, who is spear-heading the rider development of Yamaha's new 800cc motorcycle in the run-up to the new MotoGP season, will be back in action next week for Yamaha's second test of the year in Sepang, Malaysia.
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, commented "We are thrilled to confirm that our partnership with Valentino will continue for a fifth year in 2008, and it's especially good to have completed all contract negotiations before the start of the rapidly approaching 2007 racing season. This now leaves Valentino free to concentrate solely on the job in hand ? winning back the World Championship! The past three years with Valentino have been a huge success for the Yamaha brand worldwide, Valentino is a great champion and there is no doubt in our minds that he remains the best possible person to continue to lead Yamaha's MotoGP effort for the foreseeable future."
"I'm so happy to know that my future with Yamaha is secure for the next year, and now I can just concentrate on racing this season" said Rossi. "I think that last year, when we fought back from what seemed an impossible situation to come so close to taking the title, showed what a fantastic team we are and this is why I want to stay with Yamaha. The past three years with Yamaha were some of the happiest of my career, and I wouldn't consider going anywhere else. The atmosphere in our garage is always relaxed and happy and I think that this is something very special that you don't find everywhere. I have great faith in Yamaha and I am very excited about my future and the future of the 800cc bike with them. We are ready to challenge with the new 800cc and now this agreement gives us the chance to launch this challenge for the next two years".
Davide Brivio, Team Director of Yamaha Factory Racing, commented: "During the last three seasons we have won on our debut with Valentino in 2004, dominated in 2005 and lost in 2006: to extend the contract for a further year at the end of a difficult season like the last one is the greatest demonstration of the trust Valentino has placed in this Team. This is the great motivation for everyone; Valentino, the engineers, the mechanics, all the staff and, of course, all those who, like me, have lived and continue to live through the victories and the defeats so intensely. We will continue to enjoy ourselves on track and to provide enjoyment for the huge numbers of passionate fans of two-wheeled sport; together we will look forward to the next two seasons with great energy."