Valentino Rossi: My work here at Yamaha is finished

Dailies -


rossi_r46.jpg“Now the moment has come to look for new challenges; my work here at Yamaha is finished. Unfortunately even the most beautiful love stories finish, but they leave a lot of wonderful memories, like when my M1 and I kissed for the first time on the grass at Welkom, when she looked straight in my eyes and told me ‘I love you!’” – Valentino Rossi.

Rejoice Ducati, Dorna, Italy, MotoGP, FIM, motorcycle racing pundits, Pay TV executives and Rossi fans who suits red better than yellow and blue. The world’s worst kept secret is finally official. Valentino Rossi will be red next year.

The people in the know will spend the next months analyzing what this means for Ducati and Rossi in terms of racing. When it comes to marketing, PR, brand-building and, ultimately, selling bikes, look no further than the press releases from Yamaha, Ducati and Rossi (the first two are slightly edited for readability purposes) below.


Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. would like to announce that blah blah blah Valentino will move on to new challenges. Seven fantastic seasons, blah blah, huge part in the history. Blah blah Yamaha’s heritage. Blah blah extremely grateful blah blah wish him the very best.


Ducati and Valentino Rossi, two year agreement blah blah new and exciting blah blah history. Blah blah extraordinary rider and character. “Delighted. Paragon of excellence. “Made in Italy” excellence. Key values for success. Strong and passionate intent. Believe. Opportunity,” commented Gabriele Del Torchio, President of Ducati Motor Holding.

Valentino Rossi:

“It is very difficult to explain in just a few words what my relationship with Yamaha has been in these past seven years. Many things have changed since that far-off time in 2004, but especially ‘she’, my M1, has changed. At that time she was a poor middle-grid position MotoGP bike, derided by most of the riders and the MotoGP workers. Now, after having helped her to grow and improve, you can see her smiling in her garage, courted and admired, treated as the ‘top of the class’.

“The list of the people that made this transformation possible is very long, but I would like to thank anyway Masao Furusawa, Masahiko Nakajima and ‘my’ Hiroya Atsumi, as representatives of all the engineers that worked hard to change the face of our M1. Then Jeremy Burgess and all my guys in the garage, who took care of her with love on all the tracks of the world and also all the men and women that have worked in the Yamaha team during these years.

“Now the moment has come to look for new challenges; my work here at Yamaha is finished. Unfortunately even the most beautiful love stories finish, but they leave a lot of wonderful memories, like when my M1 and I kissed for the first time on the grass at Welkom, when she looked straight in my eyes and told me ‘I love you!’”

  • Domenick

    Excellent PR paraphrasing. Thanks for that.

  • The Grudz

    Blah blah blah…

  • vic

    hmm this will be interesting

    ps:you’re doing a great job ivar,that wes fellow bored us with those full pr statement crap

    • Ivar

      Wes who?

    • http://Http:// Wes Siler

      Hey, I heard that!

  • Brammofan

    There is a future for you, Ivar. That future: PR.

  • froryde

    Excellent job filtering out the PR crap blah blah blah… !

  • Isaac

    I bet there’s a lot of Ducatisti’s puking somewhere rightnow.

    I once made a VR-46 Ducati poster last year and I got nothing but negative comments about it.

    Oh well, I’m happy at least. I really want to see what he can do with that beast. Oh yeah, he and Nicky are teamates again!

  • Isaac

    Oh that photo should put up for a ‘Caption’ contest, lol.

  • RT Moto

    Vale in Ducati Red? I can die now. Well maybe after he wins a championship with them. Then I can die. Great reporting btw. Tastefully done.

  • Jnor

    No wonder Rossi’s moving if that’s next season’s prototype from Yammy.

    Seriously, though, anyone know what bike he’s riding there?

    • Ivar

      It’s the Yamaha Tricker 250. BMX style, ~20 hp, 118 kg – nobody bought it.

  • Pete

    smart move by vale; dumb move by yamaha.

    valentino has all of italy backing him which is a psychological blow to the entire paddock. the duc has a championship pedigree albeit a little uncouth. for ducati this is a marketing dream. ducati’s will be flying off the showroom floor. he also dodges the bullet of yamaha’s lack of cash-money and subsequent decrease in development (esp since furasawa is retiring).

    yamaha really dropped the ball. they should’ve slashed lorenzo’s salary or dropped him even though he’s going to win the championship this year to retain rossi.

    it’ll surely be odd seeing valentino in corsa rosso and can’t wait for the first ride on the desmo. hopefully, yamaha will give him the courtesy and allow him to test the monday after the final round in valencia.

  • ChuckNorris

    Ivar! Cheers mate, Wes and Grant may extend their sadventures, now. You’re doing helluva good job here, boy.

  • waynze

    As far as racing is concerned Rossie is a has been , Jorge is proof of that

    • prich

      Rossi is a has been? He’s the current world champion! Yeah Lorenzo is winning right now, but it doesn’t mean Rossi is a has been by ANY measure. I’ve traveled to MotoGPs in England, US, Japan, Spain and Italy and no matter what country you’re in, Rossi is king, he’s adored by everyone, he’s the ultimate spokesperson for the sport and his natural riding talent and ability to develop a bike makes him the fastest rider in the world.

    • Curtis

      I’ll bet you said the same thing when Stoner, aka The Australian Backmarker, was on top.

      The upcoming change in displacement favors Vale, not Jorge.

      • waynze

        The other top riders have really showed their class this year, he might have the advantage of the changes next year but i think it could favour the younger riders.

  • Bjorn

    The gentleman’s agreement is that Rossi can test at Valencia after the final round. After Honda went against the accepted protocol and held Rossi to his contract right to the last day, only to have their arses kicked in the first race and indeed the 2007 championship; it would be unlikely that Yamaha would choose to go back on their word and be so petulant.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to write Rossi off, he is a formidable competitor and has survived being beaten in the World Championship on equal machinery (Hayden, 2006)in the past and come back to win again and again. He is only 31 years old, so I’d say he’s got a few more years before we have to take him out behind the shed and whack him.

    I’m waiting to see if Ducati take on Jeremy Burgess as well. J.B. was crew chief for all of Rossi’s World Championships since he entered 500′s in 2000. J.B. was also Wayne Gardner’s and Michael Doohan’s Crew chief during their victories; a man not to be underestimated in his ability to help winning riders become championship winning (13 premier class to date) riders.

    Ciao, Bjorn.

  • sburns2421

    Lorenzo has definitely improved compared to 2008, but when pushed he will still make mistakes. Pedrosa is too busy making his own errors to push him in the championship this year, while Stoner has been phoning it in since Qatar, all he cares about is being ahead of Nicky.

    A healthy Rossi and motivated, Honda-riding Stoner will both push Lorenzo next year. I would not expect such smooth sailing like he has had since Rossi’s injury.

  • Beyote

    Any newbie to MotoGP can jump on the short lived bandwagon of current points leaders, but Vale has proven time and time again, with humility, that he is truly in a league of his own amongst the best.

    To say he is a “has been”, is foolish and it has been disproven over and over and over again.

    I personally think that now that Valentino is on a Ducati, world peace, a cure for cancer, hunger, and a halt to the gang bang at your Mom’s house can easily follow.

  • jwinter

    I have massive respect for Jorge but he still has not yet proven he is of Rossi caliber. When he wins more than one title, which I think he is capable of, he will rise above some of the other modern champs.
    As for Rossi being a has-been, I can’t take that seriously. He has been written off too many times only to prove his naysayers wrong. I understand if you don’t like him particularly, but you can’t seriously discount his talent. I don’t really care for Hayden or Stoner but I regard them as talented riders.

  • richmeyer

    This is awesome. Vale in red, it will make for a really fun 2011 season. And mark my words, Lorenzo will implode. I guarantee it.

  • Les

    I’m not even a rossi fan, but I’m so bored out of my skull with the way they have f’d up GP racing over the last few years that anything will help.

    MotoGP has become F1. We now get more excitement from the politics and bullshit then we do the actual on track action.

    Next year I’d love to see him spank stoner on his old bike after seeing stoner forget where the gas is and blame lack of ducati development for going slow.

    Yourgay must be confused out of his mind now. Every thing he does is a clone of rossi. Will he ask yamaha for red paint? Will he try for the second ducati seat? That guy is boring, annoying and unimaginative. I’m not sure I can handle much more MotoGP as the ‘lorenzo show’.

  • toeCutter

    Enough with the 5th rider of the championship, Lorenzo rides better than Even and Rossi is lucky he got hurt eitherway he would have his ass beaten by Jorge in regular basis LOL

    Any i dought Ducati will sell a crap load of bikes Bikes because of Rossi…

    Is like you say yamaha Sold a crapload bikes because of Rossi which they didnt and R1 was 3-4th every year in the market Race compared to hot selling GSXRs, CBRs and ZX10s

    The only time Rossi helped to sell bikes was back in 2003 with the new then CBR600RR damn the bike looked like Rossi’s RCV wasnt nothing like the other outdated 600s and sold like hot cakes…. half of those bikes had a 46 on them….

    i hope Ducati will pull it off or they will close with so much debt they are in… hahahaahh

  • toeCutter

    Yeah! Jorge Will be clueless on a 1000 , isnt like they just came from 250s….

  • bmwchopper

    What’s up with the belt bs?
    I for one love an Italian on an Italian bike!
    It reminds of when football teams were from the region they represented, regionalism creates a certain amount of pride which is somewhat lacking in our globalized existence. I’ve been fan of Rossi since way back because he’s an amazing rider and funny.
    Besides these guys are the top 18+/- riders in the world, if I could trade places with any of them it would be with Randy Depuniet. Still a winner by most yardsticks!

    • Ivar

      Sorry about the belt bs – their spam bot is faster than me and never sleeps.

  • uberninja

    Motorcycle racing history is littered with one-time champions, and Rossi has retired a lot of his “competition” over the years. Hayden, Gibernau, Biaggi, Stoner, and KR Jr are either gone or no longer a threat. Riders tend to be successful on a type of bike: 2 stroke, 990, electronic 800, or the new 1000′s. Only Rossi has shown that he can win on multiple types. His favorite ride was a big engine with few electronic controls; the exact combo MotoGP is about to change to. He was never more dominant than with that setup. Jorge’s style now is similar to the way he rode on 250, he’ll have to adapt to a new machine. Plus, he was handed down a near perfect machine, developed by the two best men in the business, Rossi and Burgess. Jorge is good, but you’re comparing him to a legend. Time will tell if Rossi’s time in the sun is over, but his shadow will fall on Jorge for a long time. His legacy in history may not be as Lorenzo, but as that guy who won after the Doctor retired.