After seven years with Yamaha, during which he won four MotoGP world championships aboard the YZR-M1, Valentino ‘The Doctor’ Rossi has said goodbye to the Japanese team, as he prepared to move to Ducati in 2011. ‘Arriving on the podium was my way to say thank you to my bike, to Yamaha and to all the people who have worked with me in these seven seasons,’ said Rossi after the Grand Prix of Valencia yesterday. ‘It's been a great experience and I have enjoyed it so much. 46 is a great number of wins. Of course, I wanted more, but I think I can be happy with what I have done here. It's been a wonderful seven years, great fun, with a special atmosphere, many fantastic victories and four world championships. I stopped with my bike after the race today, just like I did at Welkom when this story began. It was the right way to say goodbye to ‘her.’ Thank you to everyone, we have wonderful memories,’ The Doctor added.
‘In 2004, Valentino was the only one who could win on the YZR-M1 so he contributed a lot to developing the bike. This year, not only Valentino but also three other riders were fast, so it's clear that our YZR-M1 is a pretty good bike. This is mainly because of Valentino's contributions over the years so I really appreciate that and I want to wish him all the best in the future,’ added Masao Furusawa.
‘We are very, very grateful because Valentino's arrival really turned things around for Yamaha and we came back to victorious ways. We are incredibly thankful and grateful to him for that. We've had so many exciting and enjoyable moments with him and with the crew that he brought with him, who are great guys. Today we will be saying goodbye to a great number of people including Davide Brivio, Jerry Burgess and the whole crew. We've had a super time, it's been a really excellent team and we will miss them tomorrow, it will be a strange day,’ said Lin Jarvis.
Next year, for The Doctor, it will be 2004 all over again, as he gets to grips with a new bike at Ducati. This time around, though, he’ll be all of seven years older and he’ll have younger, hungrier competition to deal with. Can Rossi do it all over again? Can he win yet another MotoGP world championship, this time with Ducati? We’re sure he can. We’re sure he will. And we wish him all the best!
The Doctor talks about the evolution of the YZR-M1...
Video via Les Misanthropes Deux