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Page last updated at 10:16 GMT, Saturday, 19 July 2008 11:16 UK

Rossi signs new Yamaha contract

Valentino Rossi
Rossi is 16 points clear of Pedrosa in this year's championship

MotoGP championship leader Valentino Rossi has committed his future to Yamaha by signing a new two-year deal.

He joined the Japanese manufacturer in 2004 and two of his seven world titles - in MotoGP, 500cc, 250cc and 125cc - have come with the team.

Yamaha said the Italian would again be partnered by Jorge Lorenzo in 2009.

"After so many years spent in racing I needed a special motivation to take the decision to sign for two more years," said Rossi, 29.

"I had other opportunities but because of Yamaha's efforts to give me the best bike in the best environment, I have decided to stay with Yamaha for two more years."

Rossi leads this year's MotoGP championship by 16 points from Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, with Ducati's Casey Stoner four points behind the Spaniard in third.

see also
MotoGP on the BBC
17 Jul 08 |  Motorbikes
MotoGP world championship
13 Jul 08 |  Motorbikes
Steve Parrish's MotoGP column
18 Jul 08 |  Motorbikes
Edwards signs new Yamaha contract
18 Jul 08 |  Motorbikes
Stoner win blows title race open
13 Jul 08 |  Motorbikes
Rossi set to extend Yamaha deal
07 Jun 08 |  Motorbikes
Rossi joins the greats
12 Oct 03 |  Motorbikes

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