Valentino Rossi will continue to race with Yamaha in the MotoGP World Championship for another two seasons, it has been confirmed.

The deal, which has been expected for several weeks, will see the nine-time GP champion stay with the Japanese manufacturer through to the end of the 2016 season.

Currently in the midst of his second season with Yamaha since re-joining the manufacturer in 2013, Rossi is enjoying arguably his strongest campaign for some time having notched up five podiums in eight races to place him second overall behind the all-conquering Marc Marquez.

First joining the manufacturer in 2004 after three consecutive premier class titles with Honda, Rossi went on to add another four titles to his repertoire before departing for his ill-advised two-year stint with Ducati in 2011.

Indeed, though Rossi's much anticipated return to Yamaha in 2013 didn't yield overwhelming results initially, it is Rossi's upturn in form in 2014 that has led him to believe he can still compete at the top of his game for another two seasons.

"I am very happy to announce that I have signed a new contract with Yamaha to continue together in MotoGP for the next two years," he said. "I am very proud of this announcement. It's very important to me because I really enjoy working with my crew and all the guys from the team, both the Japanese and European members that have been with me almost my entire career.

"It's great because this was my target; I wanted to continue, I am feeling good and I'm motivated to keep giving my best. I am very happy that I can keep riding my YZR-M1, that has been my love for so many years and will still be my love this year and the following two seasons. A big 'Thank You' to everybody, I will try to keep giving the maximum to arrive in front and make good races. Enjoy!"

Though yet to win a race this season, Rossi has arguably been the most consistent rival for the dominant Marquez on the Repsol Honda. A nine-time GP champion, Rossi made his 300th GP start at Mugello earlier this year and has accumulated 106 wins, 188 podiums, 59 pole positions and 88 fastest laps since his GP debut back in 1998.



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