(Reuters) - Italian MotoGP great Valentino Rossi is set to see out his career with Yamaha after signing a new two year agreement with the works team taking him through to the end of 2016, they announced on Wednesday.
Yamaha hoped the 35-year-old, a nine times world champion with seven titles in grand prix motorcycling's top category, would stay with them for the rest of his racing career.
"We look forward to the next two and a half years together and it is our intention that Valentino will remain with Yamaha until the end of his sporting career and beyond," Yamaha Motor Racing managing director Lin Jarvis said.
"Since his return to Yamaha in 2013 it’s been a very positive experience for everybody involved," he added.
"His enjoyment is obvious to all who meet him at the MotoGP events or who see him race on TV and is reflected in his excellent race results this year."
Rossi is enjoying a strong season and is currently second equal in the championship after four second place finishes and five podiums in eight races.
Honda's Spanish MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has been dominant, winning all eight.
"I am very proud of this announcement," said Rossi, who returned to Yamaha in 2013 after a barren two year stint with Ducati.
"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."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Josh Reich)