This weekend’s Valencia round of the MotoGP World Championship will mark Valentino Rossi’s final outing for Yamaha, the Italian megastar determined to go out with a victory for the Fiat Yamaha team before defecting to Ducati Marlboro in 2011.
For Rossi and his crew this weekend marks the end of a highly successful partnership with Yamaha, which has spanned 116 races, 46 wins and four world championships over the last seven years. After Valencia the Italian icon and Yamaha will part company but both sides are keen to make their final show together a memorable one.
“So here we are, my last race with Yamaha and it will be an emotional weekend for all!” Rossi commented. “Of course I would really like to try to win this final race because it would be a great end to this partnership, which has had so many beautiful moments.
“We improved the setting of our bike again in Estoril so I hope we will be in good shape in Valencia, although it hasn’t been the best track for me in the last few years. Anyway this is a special weekend so we will do everything that we can.
“I am third in the championship after Estoril and second is not impossible, although we know Dani [Pedrosa] is strong in Valencia and he is still 19 points ahead.”
The race will also mark the last at Yamaha for Rossi’s team manager David Brivio, who is expected to move into a rider management role for next season.
“The last race is always a bit special but this year it will be even more so,” the Italian said. “It’s the last race for Valentino with Yamaha and also for many members of our team, so we all want to do the maximum and finish this great story in the best way possible.
“We go there with a lot of motivation to do well and we hope to enjoy this final weekend.”
Rossi, 31, has had six podiums at Valencia over his career including two wins, the last of which came during his inaugural Yamaha year in 2004.
Last weekend’s podium has elevated him back to third in the championship and a top-three finish for Rossi would surely be an outstanding accomplishment considering his injury-plagued season.
Following the Valencia season finale, Rossi will immediately turn his attention to Ducati, where he will test for the first time in Spain next week.