While third place in the Valencia Grand Prix wasn't quite the leaving present he was hoping to give after seven seasons, four world championships and 46 wins, Valentino Rossi was full of praise for Yamaha as he embarked on his final act with the manufacturer in Spain.
With the motorcycling world anticipating his first appearance in Ducati colours this week, Rossi took the time to thank Yamaha for its efforts over the last seven seasons, a tenure that bred greater success than many had expected following his move from Honda.
Indeed, after winning his first race with Yamaha at Welkom in South Africa, Rossi never looked back until the time came in 2010 to embark on a new challenge with Ducati.
With four premier titles in the bag, Rossi praised Yamaha for giving him the means to achieve his success, adding that he would have 'signed in blood' had he known what was to come back in 2003 when the contract was first presented to him.
"This is very emotional but I'm very happy as well because I don't have any regrets and there have been no bad moments or thoughts throughout these seven seasons together with Yamaha. From the beginning it was something great and we worked very well together. Like in life, in sport the results are crucial but just as important is the enjoyment and we had this at Yamaha.
“We had a great fusion in my team - the Australians, the Italians, the Japanese, the English and many more...a lot of people all together having fun. If in 2004 somebody had told me that I would win four world championships with Yamaha and 46 Grand Prix I would have signed in blood!
“I am happy. I have to thank first of all Masao Furusawa because we went through some difficult moments but we were able to improve the bike and make it the best machine, then I just have to say! a big thank you to everybody who helped me in these seven seasons, and wish everyone good luck."