Valentino Rossi calls time on illustrious career after 25 years

Motorcycling legend Valentino Rossi has confirmed he will retire at the end of this season.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 4:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 4:26 pm
Yamaha-SRT Italian rider Valentino Rossi sits in the box during the second free practice session ahead of the German motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sachsenring racing circuit in Hohenstein-Ernstthal near Chemnitz, eastern Germany, on June 18, 2021. (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

The ‘Doctor’ announced on Thursday that he will hang up his leathers after an illustrious career spanning 25 years in Grand Prix racing.

The nine-time champion won the premier class title seven times, winning 89 races – 116 Grands Prix in total – since his debut in 1996. The Italian star also claimed 235 podiums during that time.

Rossi, who will go down as one of the greatest riders the sport has ever seen, made his announcement during a special press conference ahead of the Styrian MotoGP.

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The Petronas Yamaha rider said: “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.

“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.”

Rossi will continue to ride for Petronas Yamaha SRT throughout the remainder of this season before concentrating his efforts on his brand-new MotoGP outfit, the Aramco Racing Team VR46, in 2022.