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Will Valentino Rossi retire in 2021?

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It sounded like a match made in heaven. One of the greatest and most popular riders in Moto GP history, paired with an underdog team, ruffled the big guns’ feathers in 2020. Adding factory Yamaha machinery, with one of his VR46 academy prodigy in Franco Morbidelli as his teammate. The stuff of dreams for a possible resurgent Rossi?

Valentino Rossi
No more Factory blue for Valentino

Of course, racers are always after results, and the best machinery, so Valentino Rossi says he will decide on 2022 after reviewing his form and results. So far in 2021, they have not been good, trailing around at the back, the furthest we have seen him down the grid in a long time! Even before the 2021 season, he hadn’t won a race since 2017 at the Assen GP in June. There was a podium in 2020 at Jerez, one we waited for, for a long time. There were other times he fought hard, Misano and Catalunya, but unfortunately missed out on both occasions.

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For the 2021 season, 42-year-old Rossi would switch places with up and coming Fabio Quartararo. After long contract talks, it was announced Valentino signed a one year deal with the SRT team. Rossi insists that he is yet to decide on racing in 2022, but he can’t hang around, as Moto GP deals tend to be done before or during the summer break. For 2021 this sits between round 10 and 11, Finland and Austria, or 11th July to the 15th August.

Valentino Rossi did test positive for Coronavirus during the 2020 season missing some races while recovering from symptoms. We do know that Covid has affected everybody differently with some symptoms lasting longer than others, possibly months after the initial infection. Even on his return on the latter half of 2020, his paces was slowed. Could it be time for the GOAT to step down?

Will Rossi retire?
It hasn’t been the dream start for Rossi in 2021

Recent weeks has seen Valentino secure funding from Saudi Arabia firm Aramco to sponsor and fund a Moto GP team. No deal has been done yet on the bike manufacturer; however, Suzuki and Aprilia are keen to secure two extra bikes on the grid. If Rossi’s results continue to be as frustrating as they are currently, could he take a step into management with more coaching?

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