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Rossi's enforced holiday almost over

Rossi's enforced holiday almost over

Rossi's enforced holiday almost over

MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi's enforced holiday is almost over as he prepares to make his long awaited debut on the Yamaha YZR-M1 at the end of the month at Sepang in Malaysia. The 24-year-old Italian stunned the motorcycling world when he announced he was leaving Honda to join Yamaha just hours after clinching his third successive World title in November. Rossi revealed that the chance to bring Yamaha their first World Championship success for ten years was a challenge he could not resist and he is now looking forward to his first appearance on the machine.

"I can never resist a challenge and it's going to be very, very exciting to race the Yamaha, especially against the Hondas and Ducatis," said Rossi, who dominated the MotoGP World Championship last year, winning nine races on route to his fifth world title. "When I won the 250cc World Championship Aprilia wanted me to stay another year and defend the title but I joined Honda to ride in the 500cc World Championship. Next year will be a similar challenge."

Honda refused Rossi's request to begin testing with Yamaha before his contract officially expired at the end of December, leaving the frustrated World Champion kicking his heels while his new team-mate Carlos Checa and the other teams tested throughout the world before Christmas. Now the long wait is almost over for Rossi and for Yamaha.

MotoGP, 2003, Valentino Rossi

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