Everyone was expecting big news the moment a press conference was called this Thursday in which Valentino Rossi was to reveal his plans for the future. Well, it turns out that the 5th of July will go down in History as the day in which the Italian legend announced his retirement from MotoGP.
His poor results this season
-10th in Italy
as 2021 best performance-, one of the worst of his career, have undoubtedly been the final push in making the decision.
At the start of the event, Valentino explained:
“I said during the season I’d take my decision for next year after the summer break. I decided to stop at the end of the season, so unfortunately this will be the last season as a MotoGP rider”
“I would have liked to continue competing for another 25 years but it is not possible. It has been great, I’ve enjoyed it very, very much. I’ve lived some unforgettable moments. Next year I will not race with motorcycles. I’ve done this for more or less 30 years so next year my life will change”– announced the #46-.
As for the idea of competing for his own team, a possibility which was on the table until the ver end, Valentino Rossi had the following to say:
“It was hard (to make the decision) because I had the chance of racing with my own team and with my brother (Luca Marini) and I would have liked that very much, with the headquarters in Tauvilla. It was a fascinating project but I decided against it. I would have had to change bikes (from his current Yamaha to a Ducati) and that alone is a two, three year project. But if you think you might only have one seasone left there are more risks than potential benefits”.
He has also revealed the key moment in which he decided to say goodbye:
“I made my decision as the season passed although when it started I wanted to continue. However, I had to see if I was fast enough and the results were worse than I expected and so that’s when I started thinking about retiring”.
But Valentino Rossi has also revealed his intention to move on to four-wheel racing in 2022:
“I love to race cars, just slightly less than bikes and from next year that’s what I am gonna do although still not 100 per cent sure with what vehicle”.
Looking back he has acknowledged his personal ability to build-up a big follwing:
“The difference between myself and the rest of great champions in history is that, for some reason, I was able to attract a lot of people, a great number of fans to motorcycling racing. If it wasn’t for me, many people, particularly in Italy, wouldn’t know about MotoGP. I did something that moved common people and that makes me very proud”.
At the end of the press conference, he has been given a moving ovation by the journalists in the room.
At the top of the Motorcycling Olimpus, the myth from Tavullia bids farewell to a long career which commenced in 1996 in 125cc. Spanning 26 seasons he has taken part in 414 GPs, taking 115 victories, 89 in MotoGP, as well as 235 podiums.
All of these successes have taken him to conquer nine World Championship Titles, seven in MotoGP, one in 125cc and another one in 250cc. Vale remains the most successful rider in the Premier Class History.
Images of Valentino Rossi: MotoGP.com.