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Yamaha says early Rossi contract extension unlikely

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Yamaha says early Rossi contract extension unlikely
By:
Oct 9, 2017, 9:07 AM

Yamaha team boss Lin Jarvis does not expect contract extension talks with Valentino Rossi to begin until several races into next year’s campaign.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Third place Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Lin Jarvis, Yamaha Factory Racing Managing Director
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Second place qualifyingValentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

As is the case for almost all top MotoGP riders, Rossi’s current contract runs out at the end of next season, meaning the silly season is likely to dominate the agenda for the first few part of 2018.

Rossi’s current deal was signed on the eve of the 2016 season and was announced during the Qatar weekend, triggering a number of moves – most notably Jorge Lorenzo’s switch to Ducati.

However, Jarvis doesn’t anticipate such an early start to negotiations this time around, as he feels Rossi will want to spend the first few races of 2018 weighing up whether he wishes to remain in the sport.

Asked by Motorsport.com whether talks with Rossi about a new deal for 2019 had yet started, Jarvis replied: “No, because we have a two-year contract.

“Last year we did it [renewed his contract] in Qatar, which was at the beginning of the season before, as such. Right now we’re a little more than half a year into a two-year contract.

“I expect we will end up discussing with him… I don’t think it would be as early as Qatar.

“I think it will be around Mugello-time, he will know whether he wants to extend his contract beyond the end of ’18.”

Rossi has previously made it clear he is open to signing a new contract for 2019 and beyond should he remain competitive, even though a fresh two-year deal would mean racing into his forties.

“When I signed this contract, I think maybe it’s the last one,” Rossi told MotoGP.com in June. “But I wasn’t sure. It depends very much.

“I will decide next season, at the beginning of next season, but if I’m still competitive and able to win, I want to continue.”

Additional reporting by Oriol Puidgemont

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi Shop Now
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing
Author Jamie Klein