ROME: Italian motorcycling great Valentino Rossi will leave Ducati at the end of the MotoGP season and rejoin Yamaha on a two-year deal, the Japanese-owned team said yesterday.
"In June, we were able to sign Jorge Lorenzo for the 2013-14 campaign and now we are able to confirm Valentino Rossi for the next two years," Yamaha Motor Racing managing director Lin Jarvis said.
The 33-year-old nine-times world champion - seven in the premier class - first joined Yamaha in 2004 and won four MotoGP titles with the manufacturer before agreeing a two-year deal with Ducati at the end of the 2010 season.
However, the dream of pairing up Italy's best-known rider with Italy's top team turned into a nightmare and he finished seventh on an uncompetitive bike last year.
This season has been just as bad with Rossi lying eighth.
Rossi left Yamaha because he felt having two very strong riders in one team did not work. His then Yamaha team mate was 2010 champion and current championship leader Lorenzo but the Italian will now return to the same arrangement.
Spaniard Lorenzo has ridden for Yamaha since 2008 and leads the current championship by 23 points after 10 races of the 18-race season. Rossi has secured just one podium finish all season.
Ducati said they were in the process of finalising their 2013 championship lineup having recently renewed their agreement with American Nicky Hayden.