Valentino Rossi will race for two more years with the Yamaha factory outfit in MotoGP after announcing he had signed a new deal which will see him racing through 2020. The move is hardly a shock – Rossi has always said he’ll race for as long as he feels competitive, and the only surprise about the announcement is that it took so long to announce. Rossi said: “When I signed my last contract with Yamaha, in March 2016, I wondered if that would have been the last contract as a MotoGP rider. At that time, I decided that I‘d take that decision during the following two years. “During the last two years I came to the conclusion that I want to continue because racing, being a MotoGP rider, but especially riding my M1, is the thing that makes me feel good. “Having the opportunity to work with my team, with Silvano, Matteo and all my mechanics, and working with all Japanese engineers, Tsuji-san, and above all Tsuya-san, is a pleasure – I‘m happy. I want to thank Yamaha – Lin Jarvis and Maio Meregalli in particular – for their trust in me, because the challenge is difficult: being competitive until I‘m 40 years old! “I know it‘s going to be difficult and it requires a lot of effort from my side and a lot of training but I‘m ready, I am not lacking in motivation, that‘s why I‘m signing for two more years.” Rossi’s new contract brings the total of signed riders to 7 for the 2019 season – Rossi and Maverick Viñales will stay on the Yamahas, Marc Marquez will stay at Repsol Honda, Cal Crutchlow still has a contract with LCR Honda, as does Xavier Simeon at Avintia and Franco Morbidelli at Marc VDS, while Pecco Bagnaia will be making the move up to MotoGP in 2019 with Pramac Ducati.