MotoGP

Valentino Rossi will race on if he fights for podiums in 2020 MotoGP

Valentino Rossi sets out the terms for his 2020 MotoGP season as he prepares to make a decision on his future in the sport

Valentino Rossi has spoken at length for the first time since it was announced he would be stepping down from the Yamaha Factory team for the 2021 MotoGP World Championship and replaced with Fabio Quartararo.

Coming off the back of a disappointing season in 2019 he said he needs clarity as to whether he still has the the performance and therefore the motivation to continue racing.

With Rossi needing more time to make a decision, Yamaha moved to sign Maverick Vinales and Quartararo for 2021 in an effort to stave off interest from rival teams.

Discussing the revelation at the launch of Yamaha’s 2020 MotoGP campaign, Rossi says he will be more inclined to continue beyond this season provided he can get back to podium-contending form.

"In the second half of last year I struggled very much," he told Crash.net. "I've raced for 25 years and I’m not young anymore, it became very heavy. To stay at the top level you need a big, big effort. To continue you need to have the right motivation.

"For me the motivation comes from the result. If I can fight for podium and I can be competitive I have motivation. My target is to try to continue next year. But if results aren’t what I expect, it becomes difficult.

"For this reason, when I spoke to Yamaha I was not ready to decide… I don’t want to continue like this [in 2019]. If it’s like this, it’s better that I stop.

"Around half season, the summer break [I will decide]. Now we have to speak also more deeply. But now I have time. I don’t want to decide in one day. I want to decide when I feel ready and I feel from the inside. I think it will be in the summer."

Mulling over his options for 2021, Rossi says he has no plans to defect to another manufacturer while adding his VR46 team that races in Moto2/3 doesn’t have the funding to consider stepping up to MotoGP.

“For me Petronas is the best option. The situation is very good. They have a good, young team so they can improve. They have money. They are serious.

"Especially for me it’s important to continue with M1. First of all to change manufacturers is not easy. It’s never easy, especially at my age and at this point of my career.

"The VR46 team with Yamaha? I laugh because I like the idea but we don’t have the money! This is a big problem! It’s better with Petronas."

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