Valentino Rossi admits he’s ‘not so ready for retirement’ from MotoGP

Valentino Rossi concedes he is grappling with the notion he is about to retire from MotoGP as his swansong outing in Valencia looms just a month away

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi has confessed he is becoming nervous at the prospect of bidding farewell to the MotoGP World Championship in a racing capacity as his final outing in Spain looms.

The Italian, one of the sport’s most successful racers with nine GP world titles and 89 MotoGP/500GP wins to his name, will conclude an international career that has spanned 25 years when the flag falls for the Valencia MotoGP on 14 November.

After revealing his future plans at the Styrian MotoGP in August, much emphasis has been placed on Rossi’s ‘farewell tour’ over the second-half of the 2021 season.

The upcoming Emilia Romagna MotoGP round will mark his final outing on Italian soil at Misano - which is located just 14km from his home town of Tavullia - with officials announcing an additional 10,000 tickets will be made available for spectators to get a last glimpse of their hero.

Indeed, with only three events remaining, Rossi admits the prospect of lining up on the grid for the final time is playing on his mind.

“I’m a bit paranoid about Valencia. I think I am not so ready for retirement,” he told DAZN. 

“In Austria after announcing it, it didn’t influence me too much. In Valencia it will be  more difficult because from that moment my life with change, I will stop being a MotoGP rider. It won’t be easy, but it will still be a good time.”

The dominant force during the 2000s, Rossi clinched seven 500/MotoGP world titles between 2001 and 2009 with both Honda and Yamaha. Since his debut in 2000, Rossi has accumulated 199 podiums too, though he is has achieved only eight since 2018, while his last win came in Assen in 2017.

In what has been a sobering swansong season for the Italian on the Petronas SRT Yamaha, he is on course to suffer his first-ever podium-less Grand Prix season with only two top ten results consigning him to 21st in the overall standings.

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