Is Valentino Rossi going to reveal decision on MotoGP future today?

Valentino Rossi calls an 'exceptional press conference' ahead of the Styria MotoGP amid talk he will formally announce his future plans today

Valentino Rossi - Petronas SRT Yamaha

Valentino Rossi appears poised to reveal his decision on whether to continue racing in MotoGP or call time on his career today [5 August].

An ‘exceptional press conference’ has been called by Dorna and Rossi today at 16.15 (CET, 15.15 GMT), according to the updated Thursday schedule.

The last time an exceptional press conference was called Jorge Lorenzo sensationally revealed he would be calling an end to his career at the 2019 Valencia MotoGP.

That doesn’t necessarily suggest Rossi will be using today to reveal he is ending his career, though the Italian has previously stated he would make a decision regarding his future during the summer break.

While an announcement was expected ahead of the San Marino MotoGP in September, Rossi appears to have called the press conference to see off persistent questioning and speculation in the three events leading up to it at the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone. 

As it stands, Rossi is considered to have three options available to him with no clear indication of which he will select.

His first option is to remain with the Petronas SRT Yamaha. The Japanese manufacturer has given Rossi first refusal on a seat for 2022 despite the Italian struggling for form since switching from the Factory outfit. 

Though Rossi has publicly said he is keen to rediscover his form with the manufacturer he has enjoyed the majority of his success during his MotoGP career, it is understood Petronas SRT as a team are keen to use the seats for upcoming young talent as it did with Fabio Quartararo.

His second option is to race under his own name as part of the Aramco VR46 Racing Ducati team. Though Rossi himself has urged caution over the liklihood of switching to VR46 - which graduates from Moto2 next season - there is thought to be growing momentum behind a potential deal.

This has been motivated by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah who has vocally called on Rossi to race with VR46 in 2022. 

While Rossi has been coy about this prospect, paddock talk suggests Tamal Entertainment - the holding company behind the sponsorship deal - could extend its involvement to purchasing VR46 (merchandise and Academy) for around $150 million. However, this could either be on the strength of Rossi competing or in lieu of it.

Finally, Rossi’s final option is retiring from the sport. While this could take the form of shifting to a hands-on management role with VR46 Racing or retreating into public life, the bookmakers in Italy have pinned this as the most likely result.

We will soon find out...