Yamaha thanks Valentino Rossi for 16 years of MotoGP partnership

Valentino Rossi

As nine-time World Champion and Grand Prix racing legend Valentino Rossi  announced his retirement from MotoGP after the 2021 season, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and Yamaha Motor Racing thanked Rossi for what will be 16 exciting years of partnership.

Yamaha plans to maintain a close working relationship with the Italian racer after 2021 through various collaborations, including the VR46 Riders Academy and the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp training and racing programs. 

Yamaha and Rossi’s story started with an iconic victory at Valentino’s first GP race for Yamaha in South Africa in 2004. Since then, Rossi secured 142 podiums to date, 56 GP victories, and won four MotoGP World Championship titles in 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009.

"'The Doctor’s' astounding achievements, unparalleled passion for racing, and unrivalled charisma make up a huge part of Yamaha’s and MotoGP’s heritage, earning him...the epithet 'GOAT,' or the 'greatest of all time,'" Yamaha expressed. 

Valentino Rossi retired

"Valentino is a living legend whose successes and personal flair contributed to Yamaha’s legacy and heritage in abundance," Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis said. 

"His unparalleled skills... will definitely be greatly missed by the fans, the media, the MotoGP paddock," Jarvis added. 

With 56 wins from 264 races, Yamaha said that 42-year-old Rossi is the only rider to win premier class titles on five different types of motorcycles. The bikes were powered by 500cc, 800cc, 990cc four- and five-cylinder, and 1,000cc engines. 

He is also the sole MotoGP rider to excel in rally racing, as a seven-time winner of the Monza Rally Show, and as a winner at the GTE Am-class of the 2019 Gulf 12 Hours at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Valentino Rossi

“We thank him for his incredible efforts, unequalled skills, and never-failing passion and optimism," Yamaha CEO Yoshihiro Hidaka said. 

"We will forever cherish the precious memories we made together and hope to keep adding to them with him as a Yamaha brand ambassador," Hidaka concluded. 

Photos from Valentino Rossi VR46 Official Facebook page, Yamaha

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