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Valentino Rossi will make MotoGP retirement decision during summer break

Valentino Rossi will use the upcoming summer break to decide whether to continue racing into MotoGP 2022 amid career worst start to a season

Valentino Rossi - Petronas SRT Yamaha


Valentino Rossi says he won’t make a final decision on whether to continue competing in MotoGP until the summer break as speculation builds amid the worst start to a season since his 2000 debut.

The seven-time MotoGP/500GP World Champion made the switch Yamaha Factory team to the satellite Petronas SRT outfit for 2020 following a downturn in results over the last two seasons that coincided with the emergence of his successor Fabio Quartararo.

However, while Rossi is riding factory machinery relative to Quartararo (and Maverick Vinales), the Frenchman has already secured two victories, while Rossi is yet to finish a race inside the top ten.

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After seeing hopes of a good result at Le Mans - where he qualified ninth - ruined by a tangle on the opening lap that left him 11th at the flag, pressure is growing on Rossi to turn the tide on a bike that has already achieved three wins in the hands of Quartararo and Vinales.

With team-mate Franco Morbidelli also a podium winner this year, though Yamaha is likely to let Rossi choose when you end his career, rather than drop him from its line-up, Rossi says the summer break will be the period for him to consider his options.

"Speaking with Petronas and Yamaha it's more half-season, because after nine races we have the summer break and I think I will decide for next year in that period, after nine races,” he told Indonesia’s Trans7 network.

When will Valentino Rossi announce his MotoGP decision?

The summer break will run between June 25-27 to August 6-8, raising the possibility of Rossi to confirm his plans publicly at his home San Marino MotoGP on 17-19 September, where the Misano circuit is located closer to his Tavullia home town.

With a 12-16-DNF-17-11 scoresheet from the opening five races, Rossi languishes 20th in the standings, ahead of only Miguel Oliveira, his brother Luca Marini and Lorenzo Savadori.

The average pace will be a bitter pill to swallow for the Petronas SRT team which appeared somewhat obligated to take Rossi on for 2021 which - despite his huge following - would have been against its own independent decision.

Indeed, while team owner Razlan Razali says Rossi’s presence in the team is an honour, he has also repeatedly pitched Petronas SRT as a team in which to promote fresh talent through the ranks.

One key factor in the decision will be whether Yamaha and Petronas SRT continue its collaboration into 2022 amid some talk of disagreements behind the scenes and a possible defection to Suzuki being rumoured.

That would pave the way for the VR46 Racing team to become Yamaha’s official satellite entry, which could inspire Rossi to stay on board for one more year under his own banner.

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