With the 2020 MotoGP season having come to an end, the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team want to thank Valentino Rossi for his 15 years of outstanding hard work, dedication, and passion. He has been a key member of the Yamaha family during two long terms in his impressive Grand Prix racing career (from 2004 – 2010 and from 2013 – 2020). The Factory Yamaha MotoGP Team take this opportunity to share their heartfelt appreciation of the still very much active MotoGP legend, as well as the departing crew members, and celebrate their remarkable achievements.
Valentino started riding for the team in 2004 and stayed for seven years, then had a brief two-year stint at Ducati, before he came back to Yamaha where he refound his purpose, his energy, and his performance. His second term with the Factory Yamaha MotoGP Team lasted eight years, one year longer than his first term and a clear indication of how much the Italian feels at home with Yamaha.
Valentino‘s list of results achieved with the Factory Yamaha Team is extensive. He earned 4 MotoGP World Championship Titles and secured 56 victories and 142 podiums in their 255 Grand Prix races together.
Besides Valentino, the Factory Yamaha Team is also saying goodbye to highly-esteemed and much-appreciated colleagues Brent Stephens (Mechanic since 1999), Alex Briggs (Mechanic since 2004), Matteo Flamigni (Data Engineer since 2000), David Muñoz (Crew Chief since 2020), and Idalio Gavira (Rider Performance Analyst since 2019), who are all part of The Doctor‘s crew.
Alex and Brent will be leaving Yamaha, whilst David, Matteo, and Idalio will continue their work with Valentino as a part of PETRONAS Yamaha SRT in 2021.
Also, Javier Ullate (Mechanic since 2003) will be leaving the team. In the 18 years he spent as a part of the Factory Yamaha crew, he worked with big names such as Carlos Checa, Marco Melandri, Colin Edwards, Jorge Lorenzo, and Maverick Viñales, helping them secure many victories and podiums, including three titles with Jorge.
The Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team couldn‘t let this occasion go by unnoticed. On Thursday 19 November, the entire staff (including the staff and friends of the team who are not in Portugal, who attended the event online) met up at the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP garage to give the leaving members the appreciation they deserve and present them with some parting gifts.
The Factory Yamaha MotoGP Team once again sincerely thank Valentino and the departing team members for their hard work, professionalism, dedication, and passion. Their stellar contribution and results will always remain a part of Yamaha‘s racing legacy.