Rossi returns to Yamaha for two years
10 August 2012 – Yamaha has announced that Valentino Rossi will be returning to the team for the 2013 and 2014 MotoGP seasons. A press release was issued shortly after Ducati confirmed the Italian’s exit on Friday morning. This marks a rekindling of the Rossi-Jorge Lorenzo battles which were witnessed in the sport over 2009 and 2010.
After his successful time with Honda, Rossi took Yamaha back to winning ways by beating Sete Gibernau to the world title in 2004, sealing the honour in Australia. He went on to claim further titles for the squad in 2005, 2008 and 2009. Frustration grew in 2010 as Lorenzo became a bigger threat and won the crown, helped by the fact that Rossi spent several weeks on the sidelines through injury. He has since endured two frustrating seasons with Ducati.
“This announcement is once again excellent news for Yamaha,” says Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing. “In June we were able to sign Jorge Lorenzo for the 2013-14 campaign and now we are able to confirm Valentino Rossi for the next two years. In doing so we have been able to put together the strongest possible team to challenge for victories and to promote the Yamaha brand.
“We ran this ‘super team’ together in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and achieved the ‘triple crown’ titles with Rider, Manufacturer and Team World Championship victories for three consecutive years. The target for the future is obvious and we will do our utmost to achieve our goals.
"I have no doubt that with the experience, knowledge, skills and speed of these two great Champion riders we will be able to challenge for many race wins and for the 2013 & 2014 World Championship titles.
“The signing of Valentino completes our future planning for the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team. Now that this is done we will put our 100 percent efforts into completing the job at hand and to supporting Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo in their search for race victories and for Jorge’s 2012 World Championship title challenge.”
Rossi replaces the aforementioned Spies, former World Superbike Champion with Yamaha whose relationship with the team has dramatically broken down. Possibilities for the vacant Ducati seat are Andrea Dovizioso of Italy, who is keen to return to a factory team, and Britain’s Cal Crutchlow who could also go back to Superbikes.