Valentino Rossi announced that he will be retiring at the conclusion of the 2021 MotoGP season. The nine-time World Champion confirmed his decision during a press conference today, just as the 2021 MotoGP season resumes from its mid-summer break for the Michelin Grand Prix of Styria in Spielberg, Austria.
The Doctor will retire as one of the most decorated grand prix racers of all time. Over his 25-year career, Rossi has won 115 races, including 89 in the premier class, and appeared on the podium 235 times. He is the only rider to win world titles in the 125, 250, 500 and MotoGP categories.
Rossi won his first world title in 1997, capturing the 125cc championship for the Nastro Azzurro Aprilia Team, winning 11 of 15 races. He won the 250cc class title in 1999, again for Aprilia, before making the jump to the 500cc class the following year. Rossi then won five world titles in the world, first as a Honda rider for the 2001 500cc class and the first two MotoGP class titles in 2002 and 2003. The following year, he joined Yamaha and won more MotoGP titles in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009.
In 2011, Rossi left Yamaha to race for Ducati but could not produce the same results on the Desmosedici. Rossi returned to the Yamaha fold in 2013, and though he never won another title, he did experience a resurgence, finishing second three times in a row from 2014 to 2016, and third in 2018.
This season, Rossi moved from the factory Yamaha team to the Petronas SRT satellite team for what will be his final season.
Though he is retiring from racing, Rossi won’t be leaving the MotoGP paddock completely. Next year, he will be bringing his VR46 venture to the premier class as a satellite Ducati team.
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