Valentino Rossi (born February 16, 1979 in Urbino) is an Italian professional motorcycle racer and multiple MotoGP World Champion. He is one of the most successful motorcycle racers of all time, with 7 Grand Prix World Championships to his name. According to Sports Illustrated, Valentino Rossi is the 7th highest earning sports personality in the world (2nd outside the United States), earning an estimated $30 million a year.
Following his father, Graziano Rossi, Rossi started racing in Grand Prix in 1996 for Aprilia in the 125cc category and won his first World Championship the following year. From there, he moved up to the 250 cc category, again with Aprilia, and won the World Championship in 1999. He won the 500 cc World Championship with Honda in 2001, the MotoGP World Championships (also with Honda) in 2002 and 2003, and continued his streak of back-to-back championships by winning the 2004 and 2005 MotoGP World Championship after leaving Honda to join Yamaha.
Yamaha Motor Company Limited (ヤマハ発動機株式会社, Yamaha Hatsudōki Kabushiki-gaisha?) (TYO: 7272), a Japanese motorized vehicle-producing company (whose HQ is at 2500 Shingai, Iwata, Shizuoka), is part of the Yamaha Corporation. After expanding Yamaha Corporation into the world's biggest piano maker, then Yamaha CEO Genichi Kawakami took Yamaha into the field of motorized vehicles on July 1, 1955. The company's intensive research into metal alloys for use in acoustic pianos had given Yamaha wide knowledge of the making of lightweight, yet sturdy and reliable metal constructions. This knowledge was easily applied to the making of metal frames and motor parts for motorcycles. Yamaha Motor is the world's second largest producer of motorcycles. It also produces many other motorized vehicles such as all-terrain vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, outboard motors, and personal watercraft.
The Yamaha corporate logo is comprised of three tuning forks placed on top of each other in a triangular pattern.
In 2000, Toyota and Yamaha Corporation made a capital alliance where Toyota paid Yamaha Corporation 10.5 billion yen for a 5 per cent share in Yamaha Motor Company while Yamaha and Yamaha Motor each bought 500,000 shares of Toyota stock in return.