Valentino Rossi retires: MotoGP star ends incredible career with emotional statement

Valentino Rossi retires: MotoGP star ends incredible career with emotional statement

MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi has confirmed that he will retire from motorcycle racing at the end of 2021 to end a glittering career at the highest level. The 42-year-old has won nine world titles and 115 races since making his Grand Prix debut back in 1996, establishing himself as one of the all-time greats in the process.

However, the current season will be his last on the grid, with the decorated champion announcing his retirement at the Styrian Grand Prix on Thursday afternoon.

“I said I would take a decision for next year after the summer break, and I decided to stop at the end of the season,” the Italian rider told a press conference.

“Unfortunately, this will be my last half season as a MotoGP rider. And it’s difficult, it’s a very sad moment because it’s difficult to say and know that next year I will not race with a motorcycle, I’ve done that for I think more or less 30 years!

“Next year, my life will change. But it was great, I’ve enjoyed it very much, it’s been a long, long journey and it was really, really fun.

“It’s 25, 26 years in the World Championship, so it was great. And I had a unforgettable moments with all my guys, the guys who work for me, so… I don’t have a lot to say! Just this.”

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Rossi will continue to race for Petronas Yamaha SRT until the end of the current MotoGP season, at which point he will hang up his helmet to end an illustrious career spanning more than a quarter of a century.

He is expected to channel his efforts into his own MotoGP team, the Aramco Racing Team VR46, during their debut campaign next year.

After graduating to the premier class of motorcycle racing in 2000, Rossi won five consecutive titles between 2001 and 2005 with Honda and Yamaha.

He went two years without another triumph before clinching the honours yet again in 2008 and 2009.

DON’T MISS

Rossi is the only man in history to win World Championships in 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP and is considered by many to be one of the greatest riders of all time.

Despite his title-laden legacy, the veteran has been winless in MotoGP since 2017 and is yet to finish on the podium so far this season.

Reflecting on his achievements during Thursday’s press conference, Rossi took pleasure in remembering his finest moments while expressing his regret over failing to win the World Championship during his time with Ducati in 2011 and 2012.

“The three titles that are the most important in my career is 2001, when I won the last 500cc championship,” he said.

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“2004, when I won with Yamaha, and 2008, because already in 2008 I was old and I was finished.

“After five championships in a row in MotoGP, I lose for two years. Usually, in a normal career, it’s over.

“I am a little bit sad that I don’t win the championship [with Ducati]. Especially because I think that, for my level and for my speed, I lose two times in the last in the last races.

“So I think that I deserve the 10, but it is how it is. But I cannot complain about the result of my of my career.”

Published at Thu, 05 Aug 2021 14:40:00 +0000