Seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has signed a two-year extension with Movistar Yamaha.

The 37-year-old Italian, whose first race for Yamaha came in 2004, will remain as part of the team’s rider line-up for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

The 2016 campaign begins in Qatar on Sunday, with Rossi looking to improve on his runner-up spot to Jorge Lorenzo last year.

“I am very satisfied with this decision,” said Rossi.

“It has always been my plan to compete in motorsport for as long as I can be competitive and find it enjoyable at the same time.”

Rossi has finished second in the World Championship in both seasons since returning to Yamaha from Ducati in 2013.