Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo's contract with Movistar Yamaha was expiring post the 2016 MotoGP Championship. Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing had confirmed that negotiations would begin soon and an outcome could be expected rather early.
Now Movistar Yamaha has confirmed that Valentino Rossi has extended his contract. The Italian multiple Championship winner will continue his partnership with Yamaha for two more years. Valentino Rossi will be riding for the Factory Yamaha team at least till the 2018 MotoGP season.
Rossi and Yamaha first partnered together back in 2004, however, in 2010 he quit the Japanese team for Ducati. Two unsuccessful years followed by several crashes, he decided to switch teams once again. Movistar Yamaha welcomed the Italian rider with open arms.
Unfortunately, teammate and Championship rival Jorge Lorenzo has still not confirmed whether he will be with Yamaha or not. A lot depends on how Lorenzo feels with the new Yamaha and its new electronics. Jorge Lorenzo will also assess how comfortable he is with his Yamaha crew.
Several of other top riders in MotoGP will also be announcing their future contracts. Almost every factory rider's contract will be expiring at the end of the 2016 MotoGP Championship. It will be interesting to see if any rider decides to ride for an all-new team and manufacturer.