9-time Moto GP champion Valentino Rossi confirms his resignation
Valentino Rossi, one of the greatest and most charismatic champions in motorcycle racing, announced his retirement from MotoGP at the end of the 2021 season after a quarter of a century in Grand Prix racing.
The 42-year-old Italian, who starts with starting number 46, is a nine-time world champion and has won seven of his titles in the top category.
“I decided to quit at the end of the season,” he said at a press conference that was specially organized in advance of the Styrian Grand Prix this weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
“Unfortunately this will be the last half of the season as a MotoGP rider. It is difficult, it is a very sad moment because it is difficult to say and to know that I will not be riding the bike next year.”
“I’ve been doing this for more or less 30 years. Next year my life will change. Anyway, it was great, I’m really enjoying this long, long journey and it was really, really fun.”
Rossi rides for the Malaysia-based Petronas Yamaha team this season but his form has faded, the veteran languishing in 19th place in the championship with a best result of just 10th out of nine races.
The sport and its fans will still miss him, the Italian is still a crowd favorite with worldwide recognition.
As the only rider to have started 400 or more races, Rossi has 89 wins in the top category and 26 more in the 125cc and 250cc junior categories.