Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi has signed a one-year deal to extend his MotoGP career with Yamaha.
The move will see the 41-year-old Italian move from the Yamaha factory team to the manufacturer’s satellite team for the 2021 season. It’s the first time Rossi has been with a satellite team since he entered the Premier class in 2000. “I thought a lot before taking this decision, because the challenge is getting hotter and hotter,” he said. “To be at the top in MotoGP you have to work a lot and hard, to train every day and lead an athlete’s life, but I still like it and I still want to ride.” Rossi is the only rider in history to win World Championships in 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP, but has not won a race since Assen in 2017. He will swap places next year with double MotoGP race winner Fabio Quartararo and team up with fellow Italian Franco Morbidelli. “We are delighted that Valentino will be staying in MotoGP for another year, and we are sure the fans of the sport feel the same way,” said Yamaha managing director Lin Jarvis. “Early on we assured Valentino that, should he stay in MotoGP for 2021, Yamaha would continue to give him full support and a Factory YZR-M1. In the end, this is exactly what he decided to do.”