Yamaha signs motorsport legend Valentino Rossi as its brand ambassador

After 16 years of racing partnership, the nine-time World Champion has entered into an agreement with Yamaha Motor Co as an official Yamaha brand ambassador.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 01 May 2023 Views icon5533 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Yamaha signs motorsport legend Valentino Rossi as its brand ambassador

Yamaha Motor Co has signed a multi-year ambassador service agreement with Valentino Rossi, making the nine-time world champion an official Yamaha brand ambassador.

Yamaha and Rossi’s association 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 undeniably 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 and his interest in becoming a brand ambassador for Yamaha.

Tetsu Ono, General Manager Motorsport Strategy Division, Yamaha Motor Co, said: “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 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.”

Lin Jarvis, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Principal and Yamaha Motor Racing managing director, said: “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 4 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.”

Commenting on his appointment as Yamaha’s official brand ambassador, Valentino Rossi said: “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 setup.”

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