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Rossi Officially Back With Yamaha for 2013-14

Rossi aboard the last bike he was able to win on

As expected, Yamaha and Ducati have each announced that Valentino Rossi will leave the Italian manufacturer next year.  He returns to Yamaha, and will again be the factory teammate of his nemesis Jorge Lorenzo.  With the retirement of Casey Stoner, Yamaha looks like the team to beat over the next couple of years . . . at least until we see Marc Marquez ride a Honda MotoGP bike.  Below is the press release from Yamaha, followed by Ducati’s terse statement.

From Yamaha:

It is with great pleasure that Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd confirms the signing of Valentino Rossi to ride for the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team for 2013 and 2014.

Valentino Rossi first joined Yamaha in 2004 and achieved four MotoGP World Champion titles with the Yamaha YZR-M1 in 2004 and 2005 and again in 2008 and 2009. He won 46 Grand Prix races with Yamaha over a 7 year period before leaving at the end of the 2010 MotoGP season.

Rossi, who is presently 8th in the Championship standings, will partner Jorge Lorenzo who currently leads the 2012 MotoGP World Championship by 23 points, having taken five victories from the first ten completed races of the 18 race series.

Lin Jarvis – Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing

“This announcement is once again excellent news for Yamaha. 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 have run this ‘super team’ together in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and during that time we 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 and 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% 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.”

From Ducati:

As the MotoGP series awaits its return to action for the August 19 Indianapolis Grand Prix, Ducati announces that its working relationship with Valentino Rossi will conclude at the end of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship.

Ducati wishes the Italian well for the new challenges that await him, and in the meantime, the team will continue to give its best effort in order to improve over the latter part of the season.

Racing has always been in Ducati’s DNA, and now more than ever, it is integral to the Borgo Panigale company’s product development and image. AUDI shares Ducati’s strategic approach and agrees with its growing commitment to competition.

Therefore, having recently renewed its agreement with American Nicky Hayden, Ducati is in the process of finalizing the team that will take part in the 2013 World Championship, confident that its team and bike will be capable of competing at the highest level.


  1. Norm G. says:

    just remember guys, an added bonus of rossi being back with yamaha is that you may yet get a good looking R1 designed to resemble the M1…? 🙂 furusawa’s engine and all it’s associated tech (TC, flybywire, variable TB’s, dual injectors, Ti valves, etc.) finally wrapped in package that’s not an eyesore. whether or not we see it this november remains to be seen, but technically 4 years have passed and the bike’s due for it’s first FULL overhaul come M.Y. ’13. if they deliver, show your approval with your wallets.

  2. JHODVU says:


  3. blackcayman says:

    Go get the clip from vimeo – Catalunya 2009 Motogp “Rossi teaches Lorenzo a lesson!’ that is what we could be seeing again next season….LETS HOPE SO!!!!!

  4. Neil says:

    The Ducati. Melandri. Capirossi. Rossi. Hayden. So many great riders have not been able to get the thing to work. Casey liked the bike moving all over the place under him like a dirtbike. He was also very good at fumbling with the electronics while on the bike. If it ws a good bike, guys would get on the podium more. It consistently understeers and goes wide in the turn and eats tires. I think the series is better off with Rossi having a chance. It is also getting old that Nicky has to fight a rolling piece of junk. How much has Ducati had to spend compared to Honda and Yamaha? Ducati won in World Superbike because the other inline fours could not get the power down as well. Now Yamaha has a fantastic motor. Audi needs to rent test tracks and get the bike working in the off season.

    • Dave says:

      Ducati has had a long run in WSBK enjoying a significant displacement advantage too. They were one of the only manufacturers willing to commit to the series. The demands they made loud and clear were, “If we’re paying in, we need to be guaranteed the win”. Checca’s run on the bike the last couple of years are all the more impressive because they (Ducati) is up against stiffer competition with a lower investment leven than they have been since the late 80’s.

      MotoGP has lost most of it’s ROI for manufacturers. Superbike is where it’s at. Better racing on machinery that consumers can relate to.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “MotoGP has lost most of it’s ROI for manufacturers. Superbike is where it’s at. Better racing on machinery that consumers can relate to.”

        25 years. mclaughlin was no mug.

  5. Philip says:

    I hope they give Valentino some new equipment and not Spies hand me downs with broken swingarms bent frames and tire eating bacteria. Should be good for Yamaha and Rossi both sponsorship wise and a good chance for a championship. And the bonus for me is I get to hear the word ‘Jamahak’ again.

    • Norm G. says:

      if burgess does back to the team as well, might give a whole new perspective to the product JB-WELD…!!! 🙂

  6. Scotty says:

    Surely the greatest 500cc rider was Mick Doohan? To compare 500cc 2T titles to the 4T era is risible. Rossi is the greatest MotoGP rider so far.

  7. deez says:

    Rossi was never handed a race winning machine. In 2010 Casey won some races on it when the title was already decided. Jorge was on preservation mode, Dani was injured, and Valentino was injured. 2 riders not at their potential and one trying to bring it home for his first MotoGP championship.

    And that was against 2010 Yamahas and Hondas. That winter Honda made huge steps. They had gone through 5-6 chassis during 2010 in preparation for the final 800cc championship. They developed a new million dollar gearbox. They stole 2 key electronics programmers from Jorge Lorenzo’s garage, and spent millions in the process to get their sole 800cc title. All of that went into making the 2011 RC212v.

    Yamaha also increased their performance albeit much smaller increase than Honda.

    Ducati went backwards with Hayden doubling, tripling, or quadrupling his finishing time to the leaders over the first part of the season.

    I grow tired of people diminishing Rossi’s achievements and talent. The truth is he is the best premier class rider in history with more wins than anyone in the history of the sport that started in 1949. The people that don’t like winners or that just want to hate, or find a chink in the armor………those are the folks discounting the man’s legacy and career. You don’t get 100 wins in this sport with around 80% of those in the premier class without multi-generational talent in spades.

    Ducati refuses to change the angle of their motor and it is their downfall, even before Valentino Rossi arrived. They must change this so the motor can be moved around more…to generate heat into the front Bridgestone.

    If you have any doubts.

    Ago, Rossi, Nieto. Those are the three greatest motorcycle riders in history.

    Rossi with 79 wins, is the greatest MotoGp/500cc racer of all time.

    • Tim says:

      I think Rossi still has something left in the tank. His performance in wet conditions earlier this season showed me the. The most skilled riders tend to do the best when the track is wet.

      He won’t take the crown from Lorenzo, but a second place finish next year is definitely possible.

    • Patrick D says:

      rossi was handed Mick Doohans bike and team, and then the RC211V which were race winning bikes, to a boring degree.

      • Hefner says:

        Not saying rossi isn’t a great rider, and surely in contention bor the best of this era, but it took some luck, and some great timing to get there.

  8. Scotty says:

    Surely the GOAT was Mike Hailwood or Joseph Patrick Dunlop.

    • Patrick D says:

      Joseph William Dunlop.

      Sadly for me.

      • Scott in the UK says:

        Who was I thinking of? Indeed – I was at the TT in 2000 and its an expereince that was wonderful, and now tinged with sadness. DJ and Joey AND Robert all gone.

  9. Brian says:

    I hope he does well. Otherwise having only 2 aliens in a field of 12 bikes is going to be horrible next year.

  10. Norm G. says:

    re: “AUDI shares Ducati’s strategic approach and agrees with its growing commitment to competition.”

    AWESOME…!!! flammini just sent me a text and wants me to remind you guys that you now own the rights to the MANUFACTURE and SALE of an engineering jewel known as the 1199. says to give ’em a call. if you don’t get him…? he asks that you please leave a message. he’ll return your call the moment he gets back from… RUSSIA…!!!

  11. metric 3 says:

    Yamaha would sign Rossi just for the merchandising alone, hell if I were selling shirts I would too. He hasn’t got it anymore, even if he could get all the special treatment he got in the past.

  12. EZ Mark says:

    With Stoner leaving and Pedrosa as inconsistent as ever, Rossi on a Yamaha makes him the second best guy out there.
    He will have to ride like Ryan Dungey and hope the best rider, in this case Lorenzo, crashes or has other problems.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “He will have to ride like Ryan Dungey and hope the best rider, in this case Lorenzo, crashes or has other problems.”

      assuming his kit is not deliberately handicapped…? my money’s on lorenzo getting smoked. same as what happened to him many times in the past (one leg motegi anyone?). sure j-lo’s good, but it’s a stretch to say he’s the best rider. (kudos to him) he’s just the guy leading in points at the moment. the 800cc displacement drop helped level the playing field against rossi, and even then he bagged 2 titles. were at a full 1000cc’s now. we just witnessed at lemans that if he’s comfortable and can access all the power available, he’s hell for the others. historically speaking, this should be something most have already seen…?

      • Pete says:

        You’re kidding yourself. Lorenzo will blow Rossi into the weeds. Like he was before Rossi broke his leg anyway.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “You’re kidding yourself. Lorenzo will blow Rossi into the weeds. Like he was before Rossi broke his leg anyway.”

          LOL that’s right, don’t let the points about 800cc and j-lo getting handed his ass while rossi crutched to and from his bike at motegi factor to the equation in ANY way…!? who’s kidding who. 🙂

      • Tim says:

        Lorenzo is the best right now by a long shot. Three years ago I would have called them dead even. If not for the injury to Rossi ( his last year on a Yamaha) we would have seen one of the closest seasons in years.

        With Stoner gone a second place overall finish for Rossi (next season) will be possible, but he’s lost a step, as they say in other sports, and Lorenzo is just starting to hit his prime.

  13. todd says:

    Rossi did not have much for competition in his early MotoGP years, kind of like Doohan from 94 on. It would have been a little different if Lorenzo and Stoner were around back then or if he was racing in the early nineties. I say he was great rider at the right time and Carmichael is the only one to be GOAT.

    • superbikemike says:

      agreed…. Carmichael is the ONLY truly GOAT… 😉

      • Scott in the UK says:

        Never saw Carmichael win a TT Replica or the SSDT….

        • Dale says:

          Or the Indy 500, or the Le Mans 24 hour, or the Daytona 200. I agree with the other Guys, there is only One GOAT.

          Otherwise it’s a slippery slope… Everyone wants to be the GOAT of something. The GOAT of making PB and J’s?

  14. Tim says:

    This is going to be a hugely unpopular post and most likely will result in a huge emotional response from the Rossi fanbois, but what the heck it needs to said…

    I, too, have been watching Rossi since his 125 days. Yes, he is talented. No question about it. However, I have noticed a consistent pattern over the years that started with his graduation to the 250 class and has transcended Rossi’s entire career. When Rossi has had superior equipment and the contractual means to prevent other riders from getting similar parts and data, Rossi has won. When Rossi has been on the same bike as other riders with no contractual and technical advantages, he shows occasional flashes of brilliance but gets his butt kicked on a regular basis. He took over a winning Ducati from Casey Stoner and made a mess of it. You can argue from now until doomsday about the Ducati but the simple fact remains that Stoner could make it work and Rossi could not. How does that make Rossi a GOAT? Rossi used to kick Pedrosa’s butt when they were both on Honda. Now Pedrosa is consistently in the top three while still on Honda, Rossi went to the champion bike and became a back-marker. How does all of this make Rossi a GOAT?

    Watching this legal and technical pattern over the course of nearly ten years, and especially this year when he has been on a level playing field with Nicki Hayden, I have always struggled with the GOAT moniker for Rossi. Perhaps Rossi’s lawyer merits that title, and perhaps Burgess merits that title, but not Rossi. Sorry guys, in essence he bought his way to many of those titles using back-shop support team trickery. No GOAT.

    Lorenzo will kick his butt next year unless Rossi somehow manages to start the “only-me parts” and data contractual mess again.

    • John says:

      While I agree with what you say about Rossi and sharing parts etc, I do seem to remember Rossi winning the championship his first year on a Yamaha when the Honda was the dominant machine in Moto GP. I also recall Honda saying it was their bike, not Rossi that was truly good, only to have Rossi beat them on the sub par Yamaha.

      Stoner won the championship on the Ducati in 2007 with 10 wins. In 08, it was 6 wins, in 09 it was 4 wins, and in 10, it was 3 wins. You have to see the bike was on the downward slide. While I don’t feel Rossi put the effort in he should have, I don’t feel it was all Rossi’s fault the bike wasn’t winning.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “He took over a winning Ducati from Casey Stoner and made a mess of it.”

      i dunno, 2010 saw stoner and the desmo upside down in the gravel with gas pouring out the tank on no less than 5 occasions with 1 “yardsale” outta nicky that year. some could argue the bike was already a mess before ross ever came near it…?

    • VJ says:

      Tim, how do you figure he was on superior equipment the year he left Honda to ride for Yamaha? He walked away from a totally dominant team featuring the most well-developed bike in the paddock to go to an out-of-sorts Yamaha that was considered fairly hopeless at the time. He immediately turned that bike into a dominant force on his way to winning the title in his initial season with his new team. Of course Jeremy Burgess also had a large hand in that, but at the end of the day it was Rossi’s riding and focused input that were the primary difference makers.

      As for taking over a “winning Ducati” from Casey Stoner, well, Stoner’s final two seasons on that Ducati netted identical fourth-place finishes despite his win-or-bin approach to wrestling that thing into submission. Clearly it was a flawed package even then (further evidenced by the fact that literally no one else has been able to ride it), and it’s only grown worse.

      Where I do agree with you is that he certainly handled the Lorenzo situation poorly. His main gripe there was that he did all the development work to transform the Yamaha into a consistent race winner, only to see Yamaha go ahead and allow Lorenzo to enjoy the fruits of the 46 camp’s labors. Well, Valentino, here’s a little newsflash: You were working for Yamaha, and that’s why you and Lorenzo were called “teammates.” In the same way that you eventually broke down and tried using Nickey’s settings on the Ducati, of course Lorenzo should have been privy to your M1 set-up data. That’s just how it goes when racing for a major manufacturer as part of a two-rider effort.

      • Yoyodyne says:

        The most cogent comment in this thread.

      • Dave says:

        These guys don’t see the other guy on the same bike as a team mate. They are the biggest threat. Mick Doohan was downright mean in his stance on this. He wanted walls between pit spaces and no shared engineering resources. I think Rossi saw the writing on the wall and that it was in Spanish with a strong lisp, not Italian.

  15. Rossi46 says:

    I’ve been watching Rossi since the 125cc days and have always watched in awe at his ability to go fast, and win. Now he has the platform to win again and I’m glad for him. I’ll defiantly be at Laguna and Indy next year to watch the greatest, most winningest rider of the modern era back on a winning team. It’s going to be a very long winter. I was begging Rossi would win on the beautiful red machine, not ment to be, time to move on. GOOOOOOOO! 46

  16. ROXX says:

    I’ve heard the naysayers regarding Rossi proclaim “it’s only a job” or “he can’t win anymore” or “his skills are deteriorating…”,
    HA I say.
    Obviously it’s more than a job and he has a strong desire to win or he wouldn’t be leaving an Italian company taking a huge pay cut.
    This guy still has the fire!

    Also to the naysayers that say Ducati will never win, Don’t count them out now that Audi has taken over ownership of the company.
    They now will have the capital and R & D strength behind them to keep up with the pace of changes the Japanese manufacturers roll at.
    This is The next two years will be fun!
    Now if only the FIA would get it’s claiming rule backmarkers problems sorted out.
    Would love to see Spies return on a Suzuki in a couple of years!

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Don’t count them out now that Audi has taken over ownership of the company.”

      too late.

      re: “They now will have the capital and R & D strength behind them to keep up with the pace of changes the Japanese manufacturers roll at.”

      having it is not the same as a willingness to spend it. sorry, that’s just your optimism over somebody else’s millions talking. trust me i get it, but you ain’t spending a dime so fantasizing comes easy.

      re: “The next two years will be fun!”

      not for lorenzo.

  17. Vrooom says:

    Dovi or Crutchlow to Ducati, that is the question.

    • bikerrandy says:

      Nicky should be the Ducati #1 rider now since he’ll be the only 1 who has won a MotoGP Championship and knows the most about the bike.

  18. VJ says:

    Odd predicament for Dovi. It looks like he’ll get Rossi’s ride at Ducati, meaning he’ll be one of the few people in the sport who will ever have left a satellite team for the money and glamour of a factory ride while also taking a step back in terms of machinery.

    I’ll definitely be rooting for Rossi to return to his winning ways, yet how funny would it be if Hayden and Dovi manage to finish ahead of Rossi next year on a vastly improved Ducati? Not that I think that’s going to happen, but if it did, damn, that would be one seriously inglorious end to Rossi’s GOAT career.

  19. kirk66 says:

    Looks like Dovi is going to be at Ducati next season. Wonder if Nick’s going to finally get to be the #1?

    Honestly, that rumor that Dovi would got to Ten Kate Honda would be a better move for him. But what do I know. I’m just a race fan like the rest of us.

  20. David says:

    To all the “expert” that think Rossi is finished, consider this: Yamaha and Jarvis want to spend $$$millions on Rossi after he left them 2 years ago and had 2 really crappy years. They obviously think he is still the best out there (= worth the $$$$). I say, let’s wait and see.

  21. blackcayman says:

    no more excuses…he better be on the podium

  22. ReflexTowing says:

    Not surprised at all, and very happy for Rossi. Now; who will take his seat at Ducati?