August 2, 2005 Yamaha Motor and Valentino Rossi signed a contract extension yesterday, ensuring that Valentino will stay with Yamaha for the 2006 MotoGP World Championship. Rossi won the 2004 MotoGP World Championship with Yamaha and is currently competing in his second season with the Japanese manufacturer's factory team. The Italian leads the 2005 MotoGP World Championship by 120 points, following his 8th victory of the season at last weekend's German Grand Prix. Significantly, it was Rossi’s 76th Grand prix victory and moved the 26-year old into equal third place in the all-time victory list alongside the late Mike Hailwood. Rossi rode his victory lap with a flag that read, “Rossi 76, Hailwood 76, I'm sorry Mike,” in deference to Hailwood. Only the greats Angel Nieto (90) and Giacomo Agostini (122) remain for “The Doctor” to conquer should he be able to remain focused for that long given the constant enticements to move to four wheeled motorsport. That said, Rossi’s 76th win last weekend had all the hallmarks of Rossi magic.
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