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Rossi and Honda announce separation after final victory at Valencia

Rossi and Honda announce separation after final victory at Valencia

Rossi and Honda announce separation after final victory at Valencia

Valentino Rossi and Honda today made a joint announcement to confirm that they will not renew their contract for the 2004 MotoGP World Championship. After a relationship spanning four seasons which has yielded three world titles and 33 premier-class victories, the Japanese factory and the reigning World Champion confirmed their separation to a packed press conference just hours after the Italian's final victory on the RC211V at Valencia.

Rossi revealed that he felt he had achieved everything he possibly could on the V5 machine and added that he was looking forward to racing against it next season. "I am here to say thank you very much to Honda and that next year we will not race together. I have had four fantastic years which are truly unforgettable. We won three World Championships and more or less 50% of the races. I have won in normal conditions, in the wet, in the dry, at my favourite track and, today, at my least favourite track. My work on this bike is finished.

"I am a HRC rider until the 31st December so I cannot comment yet on which bike I will be riding, but I can say that it will be a big challenge – it maybe even seems a little crazy right now! I think all the journalists, fans and everybody involved in this sport is very happy because next year will be a great fight."

Carlo Fiorani, Sporting Manager for HRC, declared: "Everybody knows that Honda have been in negotiations with Valentino Rossi for much of the season. Honda have done everything in their power to convince him to stay, but in the end the decision was nothing to do with money, sponsorship or any other standard contractual situation. The only area of difficulty is that we cannot offer Valentino the challenge he is looking for and we understand that he should look for that challenge elsewhere."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2003, Gran Premio Marlboro de la Comunitat Valenciana, Valentino Rossi

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