Valentino Rossi: “Sad moment, but I can’t complain about my career!”

Valentino Rossi admits he's 'sad' to reveal to the world he is retiring from motorcycle racing... but insists it is the right time to bid MotoGP ciao​

Valentino Rossi - Yamaha, Petronas SRT, 2021 MotoGP

Valentino Rossi insists ‘cannot complain about his career’ despite admitting a ‘sad moment’ as he ended months of speculation by formally confirming he will hang up his MotoGP leathers at the end of the 2021 season.

After 25 years of international motorcycle racing competition, more than 420 Grand Prix starts and nine World Championship titles to his name, Rossi has decided he won’t continue racing bikes in 2022.

It marks the end of an era for a rider that redefined motorcycle racing with his ballsy riding style, unashamed showmanship and outspoken attitude, a combination that earned him a legion of adoring fans the world over.

Making his 500GP debut in 2000, Rossi was a title winner in only his second top tier season with his 2001 World Championship the first of five in succession - three with Honda, two with Yamaha. He added two more to his tally in 2007 and 2008, while he was runner-up on five further occasions.

However, though Rossi is the most successful 500GP/MotoGP rider of all-time in terms of wins having topped the podium in the premier class on 89 occasions, the most recent of those came in 2017.

The decline has led him to a torrid 2021 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT Yamaha, leading to his decision to retire despite having two attractive offers on the table from Petronas SRT Yamaha (a Yamaha’s own request) and his own VR46 Racing Ducati team.

However, he feels the time is right to consider new challenges, with Rossi revealing he will turn his attention to four-wheel racing from 2022.

"I've decided to stop at the end of this season so unfortunately this will be my last half-season as a MotoGP rider. It’s difficult. It's a sad moment, because it's difficult to say and to know that next year I will not race with a motorcycle,"

"I've done this for more-or-less 30 years! So next year my life will change, but anyway it was great. I enjoyed it very much. It was a long, long journey. Really funny. 25-26 years in the world championship.

"In all sports results make the difference so at the end it's the right way. I had the chance to race for my team in MotoGP together with my brother, something that for sure I like. But anyway it's okay like this I think… I can't complain about my career!"