- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 2, 2014

MILAN (AP) - Seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi has signed a new two-year deal with Yamaha, tying him to the Japanese team until 2016.

Rossi rejoined Yamaha in 2013 following a disappointing spell at Ducati.

The 35-year-old Italian, who finished fourth last year, is second in the standings.

On Wednesday, Rossi says “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.”

Yamaha managing director, Lin Jarvis, adds, “Since his return to Yamaha it’s been a very positive experience … it is our intention that Valentino will remain with Yamaha until the end of his sporting career and beyond.”