There is no real mystery to why Yamaha signed Valentino Rossi. His seven MotoGP titles are a sign of his undisputed talent, and despite two years in the wilderness at Ducati, he is expected to be competitive from the start of the 2013 MotoGP season. But with the reigning MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo already signed, there was more to Yamaha's decision than the need for a competitive rider. Marketing also played a massive role in the decision to sign the Italian, with reports that the decision came mainly after pressure from the marketing department, and in face of resistance from the people inside Yamaha's racing department.
Whatever the truth of the matter, Yamaha will be sure to maximize their return on investment in Valentino Rossi. Rossi's massive popularity in key markets such as Indonesia, Thailand and India mean that he could be a significant factor in expanding market share and sales in those regions, as well as consolidating Yamaha's position in contracting sports bike markets such as Europe and the US.
Today, Yamaha took advantage of the first opportunity to use the selling power of Valentino Rossi to their advantage. The factory posted a video on Youtube welcoming Rossi back to the fold. The video runs through the highlights of Rossi's career, from his stunning debut at Welkom in South Africa, in which he beat Max Biaggi in one of the most thrilling battles of the series, covering his four world championship and his farewell at Valencia in 2010, ending with photo highlights of his return to Yamaha at the Valencia test in November 2012. It will be a fascinating time for both Yamaha and Valentino Rossi.