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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 November, 2003, 17:59 GMT
Rossi splits from Honda
Valentino Rossi
Rossi went out in style by winning in Valencia
MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has confirmed that he will not race for Honda next season.

He made the announcement after winning the final race of the season in Valencia.

"I have come here today to say thank you to Honda for an incredible four years but unfortunately next year we won't be racing together," he said.

He has been continually linked with Ducati and Yamaha in recent weeks.

Yamaha team boss Davide Brivio issued a statement after Rossi's announcement, admitting that negotiations with Rossi were "proceeding well".

"We welcome this evening's news that the Honda-Valentino Rossi relationship has drawn to a close," the statement read.

"This is obviously a very exciting prospect for us. However, until we have one hundred percent finalised an agreement with Valentino we shall not be able to further comment on the situation."

Yamaha last had a world champion in 1992 when American Wayne Rainey won the last of his three titles.

The 24-year-old Rossi joined Honda in 2000 and the next year won the last 500cc world title.

Since then he has dominated MotoGP, winning 20 of the 32 races on the Honda RCV.

The decision is a gamble as the RCV is dominant bike in MotoGP, with the top three riders in this year's championship all riding versions of the four stroke machine.

"To make this choice is a little bit crazy, but we'll find out next year how crazy," said Rossi.




MOTOGP 2003


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Rossi wins in Valencia
02 Nov 03  |  Motorbikes


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