After 16 years of racing partnership, Valentino Rossi, the nine-time World Champion has entered into an agreement with Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. as an official Yamaha Brand Ambassador.
Yamaha and Rossi’s epic story started with that iconic victory at The Doctor’s first GP race for Yamaha in South Africa in 2004. The partnership experienced many thrilling races and great moments on and off the track, securing 142 podiums, celebrating 56 GP victories, and winning four MotoGP World Championship Titles in 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009 on the way, which all goes to demonstrate that Rossi and Yamaha are undeniably linked.
Rossi’s astounding achievements, unparalleled passion for racing, and unrivaled charisma make up a huge part of Yamaha’s and MotoGP’s heritage. They earned the Italian, who is recognized around the world, the “GOAT” (Greatest of All Time) title.
Rossi retired from MotoGP after the 2021 season but immediately expressed his desire to keep riding Yamaha bikes for training and leisure.
Tetsu Ono, GM Motorsport Strategy Division, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.:
“First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Valentino for continuing our partnership. Yamaha is very proud to have Valentino as a brand ambassador, perhaps even more so since the desire to become one came from him personally. To have a nine-time World Champion’s seal of approval is the best recommendation you can get as a motorcycle brand.”
Lin Jarvis, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Principal:
“Of course, this is a great moment for Yamaha, and it’s also an emotional development for the fans, who I’m sure miss Valentino’s presence in MotoGP since he retired from his successful career. Valentino and his M1 shared a special bond. His arrival at Yamaha was the catalyst that completely changed our MotoGP racing program to the point that Valentino and Yamaha almost became synonymous. Together we achieved many wins, podiums, and four championships, and then there are also the moments behind the scenes: the hard work but also the fun parts and the shared passion for racing. We always considered Valentino as ‘family’, and as soon as he expressed his desire to keep using Yamaha bikes and to become a brand ambassador, we went to work to make it happen.”
“For sure, this agreement between me and Yamaha gives a great emotion. We worked together for many years in the past, so it feels natural. After I retired from MotoGP, I’ve kept training and riding motorcycles. I was always planning to keep racing in one form or another. During my MotoGP career, I rode Yamaha bikes as part of my contract. But even after retiring, I kept using Yamaha bikes because I enjoy them. I’m happy that the agreement is now signed, so Yamaha and I get to work together in this new set-up.”