Italian superstar racer Valentino Rossi has signed a two-year contract extension to compete in MotoGP for Yamaha. His existing contract with the factory team expires at the end of 2018, and the extension will have him race with Yamaha until at least 2020.

Rossi’s partnership with Yamaha has yielded 56 wins and 4 premier class championships. The professional rider recently turned 39 years old, and is expected to continue racing in his early ‘40s. He will be the first MotoGP racer to compete at the age of 40, since Colin Edwards did in 2014 before retiring.

Valentino Rossi will remain partners with Maverick Viñales, who has also signed an agreement to stay with Yamaha until 2020.

"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,” said Rossi.

"I want to thank Yamaha - Lin Jarvis (Team Boss) and Maio Meregalli (Team Manager) 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."