Rossi extends contract with Yamaha


Yamaha rider and seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi has signed a new two-year deal with the MotoGP team.

Rossi, 37, will remain a part of the team until at least the end of the 2018 season, Yamaha confirmed on Saturday.

The announcement comes ahead of Sunday's season-opening Qatar Grand Prix, where Rossi - who finished second to Jorge Lorenzo in last season's world championship - is looking to match the Spaniard and Casey Stoner's record of five wins at the Losail International Circuit.

"I am very satisfied with this decision, because it has always been my plan to compete in motorsports for as long as I can be competitive and find it enjoyable at the same time," Rossi said via Yamaha's official website.

"Ever since I returned to Yamaha in 2013 I have felt like I am home again and this showed in the results. I get great enjoyment out of working with my crew and the rest of the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team. Their support for me has known no limit and I want to thank them sincerely for that. 

"I'm feeling greatly motivated to keep riding my YZR-M1 for the best results possible, this year and the following two seasons.

"I also want to say a big 'Thank You' to my fans, who are always behind me every step of the way, making the races extra special. I will keep pushing at each and every Grand Prix so we can all keep enjoying MotoGP for more years to come!"