Rossi first joined Yamaha in 2004 and achieved four MotoGP World Champion titles with the Yamaha YZR-M1 in 2004 and 2005 and again in 2008 and 2009. He won 46 Grand Prix races with Yamaha over a 7 year period before leaving at the end of the 2010 MotoGP season. Rossi, who is presently 8th in the Championship standings, will partner Jorge Lorenzo who currently leads the 2012 MotoGP World Championship by 23 points, having taken five victories from the first ten completed races of the 18 race series.
According to Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Factory Yamaha Racing, "this announcement is once again excellent news for Yamaha. In June we were able to sign Jorge Lorenzo for the 2013-2014 campaign and now we are able to confirm Valentino Rossi for the next two years. In doing so we have been able to put together the strongest possible team to challenge for victories and to promote the Yamaha brand."
Rossi will be replacing Ben Spies, who recently announced his departure from Yamaha and whose future with the team was questionable. Yamaha Tech 3 riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow were also said to be on the shortlist for the number two seat to Jorge Lorenzo. With the Yamaha Factory Racing squad locked up and Honda having announced its riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez, pieces should now begin to fall into place for the remaining seats in the 2013 MotoGP stable. With Rossi's Ducati seat vacated, it opens the doors for another rider to join Nicky Hayden, who has resigned with the squad for one more season.