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Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and MotoGP legend, Valentino Rossi sign Brand Ambassador Agreement

After 16 years of racing partnership, nine-time World Champion, Valentino Rossi has entered into an agreement with Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. as an official Yamaha Brand Ambassador.

L to R: President of Yamaha Motor Europe, Eric De Seynes, General Manager Motorsports Development Division & President of Yamaha Motor Racing, Takahiro Sumi, General Manager Motorsports Strategy Division, Tetsu Ono, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing & Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Principal, Lin Jarvis; President of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., Yoshihiro Hidaka and  Valentino Rossi

Yamaha and Rossi‘s epic story started with that iconic victory at The Doctor‘s first GP race for Yamaha in South Africa in 2004. From there on in the partnership got to experience lots of thrilling racing action and many great moments in the paddock and off the track, securing 142 podiums, celebrating 56 GP victories, and winning four MotoGP World Championship Titles in 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009 on the way, which all goes to demonstrate that Rossi and Yamaha are inextricably linked.

Rossi‘s astounding achievements, unparalleled passion for racing, and unrivalled charisma make up a huge part of Yamaha‘s and MotoGP‘s heritage. They earned the Italian, who is recognised the world over, the epithet ’GOAT‘ (Greatest of All Time).

Rossi retired from MotoGP after the 2021 season but immediately expressed his desire to keep riding Yamaha bikes for training and leisure as well as his interest in becoming a Brand Ambassador for Yamaha.


General Manager – Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.‘s Motorsports Strategy Division

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.

*­Kando is a Japanese word for the simultaneous feelings of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that we experience when we encounter something of exceptional value.


Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing

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.


Yamaha Brand Ambassador

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.


– Rossi is the most successful Yamaha rider in history (56 wins, 46 second places, 40 third places on a Yamaha, scored in 273 races)

– He is the rider that’s been active the longest in Grand Prix racing (he made his debut in 1996 and retired in 2021 – 26 seasons in all – and he has made 432 Grand Prix starts in total, of which 372 in the premier class)

– He competed the most seasons on a Yamaha in the MotoGP class (16 seasons)

– He secured the most podiums for Yamaha in the MotoGP class (he has stood on the rostrum with Yamaha 142 times)

– He holds the most first places for Yamaha in the MotoGP class (56 wins)

– He completed 230 races back-to-back, without missing one (from his debut in 1996 in Malaysia until the race in Mugello in 2010)

– He holds the record for most races started overall and in the premier class. (He has started in 432 GP races across all classes; 372 of which have been in the premier class and 273 of those races he rode on a Yamaha.)

– He was the first rider to take back-to-back premier-class victories with different manufacturers (after his win at the 2004 season-opening GP in South Africa)

– He achieved the highest number of premier-class victories in a single season by a Yamaha rider (11 wins in 2005)

– He stood on the podium in the premier class on 199 occasions

– He has been on the podium 235 times across all classes

– Out of Yamaha‘s 520 Grand Prix victories, 11% were secured by him, making Rossi the biggest contributing rider (56 victories of the 520 GP wins secured by Yamaha)

– He secured 6,357 points in total counting his results over all the classes he competed in (125cc, 250cc, 500cc, MotoGP)