The Rossi Saga: Part 1, The Divorce From Yamaha

At last, official confirmation of MotoGP's worst kept secret is here. The first part is the Yamaha press release, confirming that Valentino Rossi is leaving. The press release is shown below, no commentary required at this moment.

Yamaha Factory Racing Team Press Release
Brno, Czech Republic
15th August 2010


Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. would like to announce that the partnership between Valentino Rossi and Yamaha will come to an end at the close of the season, when Valentino will move on to new challenges.

Yamaha and Valentino have enjoyed seven fantastic seasons of racing, during which time they have won four MotoGP World Championships together.

Valentino has played a huge part in the history of Yamaha and he will always remain an important part of Yamaha's heritage. Yamaha is extremely grateful for Valentino's contributions to its racing successes over the past seven years and it would like to wish him the very best in his future racing endeavours.

Yamaha will be putting all its efforts into ensuring a successful and happy end to the partnership over the remaining races.

Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, said "On behalf of the Yamaha Motor Group, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for the amazing seven years that we have spent together. Valentino joined Yamaha in 2004 at a moment when Yamaha was struggling in road racing after eleven seasons without a championship victory. Valentino's victory at his first GP race for Yamaha in South Africa in 2004 was an incredible moment and was just the first of many more race wins that have thrilled MotoGP fans and Yamaha fans around the world. His unsurpassed skills as a racer and a development rider enabled him to win four MotoGP world titles to date with us and helped Yamaha develop the YZR-M1 into the ‘the bike of reference' for the MotoGP class.

"There have been so many wonderful experiences and victories and we are very proud to have been able to make history together. Whilst we regret Vale's decision to move on, at the same time we fully respect his decision to search for a new challenge and we wish him the very best for 2011 and beyond.

"For the remaining eight races of 2010 Valentino will remain a Yamaha Factory rider. As such he will continue to benefit from our full support and we hope and expect to see some more race wins with him ‘in blue' before the season is over!"

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It's a shame that Rossi will not finish his career at Yamaha as they have been able to accomplish so much together. Rossi, being the G.O.A.T. that he is will be able to bring wins and hopefully a championship to Ducati. This would only solidify his status as legend in MotoGP. Hopefully they part ways in mutual respect for each other. I will miss Rossi on the Fiat Yamaha in white and blue with his famous yellow, I wonder how that will work in with the Ducati Red...

As for Lorenzo... with Rossi's accident we will never know how this season would have panned out with tough battles between them. Lorenzo is on fire and performing flawlessly, props to him for doing so well this year even though I am a die hard Rossi fan for life.

is such an overused term. i hate hearing it! it's like hearing someone say 'i gave it 110%'.

I hope for Yamaha's sake that Jorge doesn't turn out to be a one season wunderkind like Nicky and Casey before him. No doubt he's talented but there's a big difference between winning a season and winning multiple seasons - good luck to Rossi, Ducati and Yamaha - it should be a fun year next year.

Putting Nicky and Casey in the same category is silly. Stoner's won as many 800cc races as Rossi has despite being on the very difficult Ducati. Nicky? Nada. It was only a matter of time until Yamaha developed the best 800cc bike which they have done but Honda's closing in or possibly already have. You should judge Casey when he's on a far more competitive Honda next year.