Italian legend, seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi announced that he will retire at the end of the 2021 season.
“I have decided to retire at the end of the season, so this will be my last season as a MotoGP rider. It is a difficult and very sad moment, knowing that next year I will not be racing a model. I’ve been doing this for more than 30 years, and my life will change next year,” Rossi said on August 5 at a press conference ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix in Austria.
Rossi started his career in 1996, racing for the Aprilla team in the 125cc segment and he won the championship in 1997. The racer nicknamed “The Doctor” then came to Aprilla’s 250cc segment. and won the 250cc World Championship in 1999. Rossi entered the top division in 2000, and won seven world titles in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009.
Since 2017, Rossi has not won any more races. In 2020, he finished 15th and lost his place in the Factory Yamaha team. In this season, he is currently ranked 19th with the Yamaha-SRT team. The Italian legend will compete in the final race in Valencia on November 14.
“I’m a bit sad that I didn’t win my tenth championship, especially when I deserved it, because of my level and my ability. But I can’t complain about my career,” Rossi added. .
Rossi also left open the possibility of racing after retiring. He said: “I used to say that I love car racing, just a little bit less than motor racing. I think I will try car racing from next year. But for now, everything is still being considered and not yet. no decision has been made. I feel like a racer for life. So I’m going to switch from motorcycle to car.”
In 2020, Rossi was in the team that finished 5th overall and 4th in the segment at the Gulf 12 hours race held in Bahrain. He is one of three drivers who take turns racing in the Ferrari 488 GT3. He competed in three stages of the World Rally Championship in 2002, 2006 and 2008. First behind the wheel of a Peugeot 206, then a Subaru Impreza and last. The same is the Ford Focus RS. His best result was in 2006, when he finished 11th at the New Zealand Rally.
Rossi also ran several times for Ferrari’s F1 team from 2004 to 2010, and reached speeds that were amazingly fast for an inexperienced person. Rossi then insisted that the test run was “just for fun”.
At the time, Fiat boss Luca di Montezemolo said he “would do anything” to get Rossi on the Ferrari team. There is currently no indication that Rossi will compete with Lewis Hamilton in 2022, but anything is possible.
“Right now I don’t know what kind of car to choose. I don’t know which race to try. I said I wanted to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and compete in a series of races around the world,” Rossi emphasized.
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