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Rossi Signs a New Two-Year Contract with Yamaha, Fresh Rumors Surface

Team Movistar Yamaha and Valentino Rossi announce that a new contract will bind them for two full extra seasons after 2016. Rossi is, therefore, the first of the top riders to ink a deal for the upcoming seasons, and his move is obviously aimed at making the life of his teammate and sworn rival Jorge Lorenzo harder.
Rossi testing at Sepang, 2016 1 photo
The contracts of most of the riders, including the top ones, will expire at the end of the 2016 season, and this means that the market will be in quite a stir. As if things were not crazy enough, KTM will also rejoin the grid, and they've just confirmed that Bradley Smith, who is still under contract with Yamaha Tech 3 until Valencia, will be their man for the upcoming couple of seasons.

This leaves an open seat at Tech 3 and problems to solve for the rest of the teams, but it's Rossi's early move that weighs the most right now.

The nine-time world champion initially said that he would wait for four to six races until he made a move as to his future in MotoGP, but it looks like his decision has more to do with his excellent ties with Yamaha than simply having a job as a rider.

Truth be told, Rossi is the goose with the golden eggs, for both Yamaha and Dorna. His fame as a racer helps Yamaha sell both merch and bikes, whereas for Dorna, his presence in the championship is a boon because he attracts huge crowds.

Seeing him decide to sign a new two-year deal before the reigning World Champion has more to do with his image and less with the salary. In a way, this move is a strong statement from Rossi, showing that he is determined to fight for the title, probably more than ever.

He simply hopes that Yamaha will be able to provide him with the right bike for the job, and decided to stick with Iwata. Rossi could go pretty much anywhere (well, maybe not HRC), he decided to stay with Yamaha and make life harder for Lorenzo while trying to reel in another title.Lorenzo is expected to make a move
Whether Rossi can win the championship or not is still a premature question, but it looks like he might be able to do so. On the other hand, it's now the time to see how Jorge Lorenzo will react. David Emmett says that the Spanish media knows that Yamaha proposed Lorenzo a deal, but that he simply said he needed more time.

Nobody knows, at this point, how Yamaha took this delay, but the rumor mill can't be stopped. Some believe that Lorenzo is simply buying some time, trying to figure out whether Ducati is, indeed, competitive enough, or its terrific acceleration and straight line top speed are all there is to it.

However, Ducati officials made no secret of the fact that the perspective that Lorenzo joins the team sounds appealing. Nobody seems to know how long it will take Lorenzo to make a call, and most speculations see him not accepting Yamaha's contract before the next round, possibly waiting for more. After all, we've got races on the 3rd and 10th of April...

We don't know if the bookies are taking bets about this, but we found some guys who are almost sure that JL99 will jump ship to Ducati, and Yamaha will bring in Maverick Vinales, putting him on a two-year intensive racing course with Rossi as a teacher, and with the upcoming 36 or so races serving as practical lessons.


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