MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi becomes Yamaha brand ambassador

Seven-times MotoGP (and nine-times Grand Prix) World Champion Valentino Rossi has been signed by Yamaha has a brand ambassador.

Valentino Rossi with Yamaha management, brand ambssador announcement.

Yamaha has announced seven-times MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi as a brand ambassador.

Rossi’s unveiling as a Yamaha brand ambassador came at last weekend’s Spanish MotoGP, where the best-placed Yamaha in the race was Fabio Quartararo in 10th place. 

Rossi of course became synonymous with Yamaha during his 25-year Grand Prix career. 16 of those years were spent with Yamaha, in which he won four of his nine world titles, in 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009.

Away from MotoGP, Rossi stuck with Yamaha machinery, from Yamaha R1 track bikes to YZ450F flat trackers and motocross bikes. This also led to Yamaha supplying motorcycles for the VR46 Riders Academy, and also to the creation of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp, which would bring Yamaha-backed young riders to train at the VR46 Motor Ranch for a week.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Brand Ambassador, said: "For sure, this agreement between me and Yamaha gives a great emotion. We worked together for many years in the past, so it feels natural. 

“After I retired from MotoGP, I‘ve kept training and riding motorcycles. I was always planning to keep racing in one form or another. During my MotoGP career I rode Yamaha bikes as part of my contract. But even after retiring, I kept using Yamaha bikes because I enjoy it. I‘m happy that the agreement is now signed, so Yamaha and I get to work together in this new set-up."

Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing, said: "Of course, this is a great moment for Yamaha and it‘s also an emotional development for the fans, who I‘m sure miss Valentino‘s presence in MotoGP since he retired from his successful career. 

“Valentino and his M1 shared a special bond. His arrival at Yamaha was the catalyst that completely changed our MotoGP racing programme to the point that Valentino and Yamaha almost became synonymous. 

“Together we achieved many wins, podiums, and four championships, and then there are also the moments behind the scenes: the hard work but also the fun parts and the shared passion for racing. 

“We always considered Valentino as ’family‘, and as soon as he expressed his desire to keep using Yamaha bikes and to become a Brand Ambassador, we went to work to make it happen. We are thrilled that Valentino is now officially our ambassador."

Tetsu Ono, Yamaha Motor Motorsports Strategy Division General Manager, said: "First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Valentino for continuing our partnership. 

“Yamaha is very proud to have Valentino as a Brand Ambassador, perhaps even more so since the desire to become one came from him personally. To have a nine-time World Champion‘s seal of approval is the best recommendation you can get as a motorcycle brand. It‘s a testament to the product quality and the company culture at Yamaha. Yamaha continuously strives to bring Kando* to its clientele. 

“We are pleased that Valentino, the motorcycle racing GOAT, feels so enthusiastic about riding Yamaha‘s powered two-wheel vehicles, and that he is happy to work in a close partnership with Yamaha again. Yamaha enters this agreement with the full intent to meet Valentino‘s needs where it comes to powered two-wheelers for training and leisure purposes. We look forward to working together with him to strengthen the Yamaha brand.”

In Jerez, where the announcement was made, Rossi, somewhat ironically, was in the factory Ducati garage at the end of Sunday, celebrating with reigning MotoGP World Champion Francesco Bagnaia, a VR46 Academy member since 2014, who won the Spanish Grand Prix for the Italian marque.

Rossi’s own Mooney VR46 Racing Team currently leads the MotoGP Teams’ World Championship by two points, from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, with its Ducati-mounted riders, 2023 Argentinian MotoGP winner Marco Bezzecchi, and Luca Marini.

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