Rossi will end his GP career at Yamaha, just not anytime soon
Moto GP’s biggest star Valentino Rossi has pledged his commitment to Yamaha for the rest of his racing career. The Italian raced for Yamaha between 2004 and 2010, before leaving for Ducati for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The two years away from Yamaha were two of the worst of his career though, as he finished in seventh and sixth place in the respective seasons. After seeing out the end of his two-year contract, he rejoined Yamaha in 2013 and ended the season in fourth before really getting his form back and finishing runner-up in 2014 and 2015.
The nine-time Moto GP Champion narrowly failed to make it into double figures last year when he was narrowly beaten by his team mate Jorge Lorenzo. The Spaniard went into the final race of the season in Valencia 7 points behind Rossi, but he managed to lead from pole to win the race and the championship. Rossi threw away his chance of winning his 10th title after being given a penalty for contact with Marc Marquez from the previous race and being forced to start at the back of the grid.
Despite being 8 years his team mate’s senior, Rossi says he is still determined to beat his Yamaha team mate Lorenzo after losing the title to him last season. It seems that the bookmakers also think it’s a strong possibility, as they’ve given him odds of 11/2 to take the World Championship in 2016. Only the current champion and his teammate Jorge Lorenzo and the man who fighting with gave him the penalty during his last race, Marc Marquez, have odds lower than him. But if you think someone else will win the title there is an array of options on the Coral website including outsider Alex de Angelis who has odds of just 1000/1. If you fancy taking a chance on someone like Angelis but don’t want to lose money on such an unlikely choice, you can get a free £20 bet when you open an account with Coral and deposit £5.
Although Rossi has been massively competitive over the last two years, he still needed to announce his continued support for the sport and for the team. One reason for this may be that he has had an extremely fractured relationship with his team mate Lorenzo during the last couple of seasons. After the final race of the season, Lorenzo really showed his dislike for the 9 times world champion by accusing him of sour grapes and saying that Rossi knows he will never win a world championship again.
After the outburst Rossi said that he respected Lorenzo but he hadn’t shown respect back for his team mate. At the launch of the new 2016 bike he said: “Let’s hope the respect will be mutual this season.” There shows no signs of the bookmakers stopping giving him odds that’ll attract the free bets on offer either, as he said his aim was to stay at the same competitive level as he has been for the last two years and to challenge for the title as long as possible. Despite what his team mate might say, last year proved there’s still a good chance that Rossi will be able to make it 10 world titles with Yamaha.