It's the end of an era. When Valentino Rossi joined the unproven Yamaha outfit back in 2004, it shocked the paddock. Now, seven seasons later, many are shocked that he should be prepared to desert such a successful team.
This new, framed photoset aims to showcase some of the highlights of the Italian motorcycling legend's time at Yamaha, during which he achieved no fewer than four world championships.
Perhaps his most memorable achievement at Yamaha was his victory at Welkom in his very first race for the team. The sport has probably never witnessed such an unexpected win, and that year Valentino went on to take the title – proving a little point to his previous employers along the way.
In 2005, Rossi repeated that feat at a canter. In 2006, some unfortunate mistakes and unreliability issues gave the crown to Nicky Hayden, even though the American won fewer races than Valentino. A year later, Casey Stoner's Ducati was simply untouchable and even though 'The Doctor' achieved some memorable victories that season, he finished in third place overall. For many riders this would have been a career highlight but for Vale, it was his worst result for Yamaha.
In 2008, he regained the riders' laurels with a record points tally. In 2009, team-mate Jorge Lorenzo pushed him harder but Rossi prevailed and took his fourth championship in six seasons. His final campaign with Yamaha, 2010, was in some ways his most remarkable. He missed out on four races with a broken leg, but was soon back on-form on his return and in Malaysia recorded his milestone 46th victory for the team. He didn't take the title in his final year, but his comeback was nevertheless the stuff of legend.
All-in-all, he had a good innings at Yamaha, and we'll have to see if he can repeat it now at Ducati.
In the meantime, this glass-fronted, wooden-framed commemorative photo set will be limited to just 460 pieces worldwide – so don't wait around! Click here
now to buy!