Vinales Yamaha exit no factor for Rossi as 2022 MotoGP decision looms

Valentino Rossi insists Maverick Vinales' Yamaha exit will have no bearing on his own decision over whether to continue for the 2022 MotoGP season

Valentino Rossi - Petronas SRT Yamaha 2021.jpg

The summer break for MotoGP has arrived and that means Valentino Rossi has three weeks to come to a decision on whether he will continue racing into the 2022 MotoGP World Championship season or call time on his glittering career.

The Italian is enduring a tough 2021 campaign, his first with the satellite Petronas SRT Yamaha squad, a run of form compounded most recently at the Dutch TT when he barrelled out of the race for his fifth non-score in five races.

Leaving him 19th in the overall standings as the mid-season hiatus gets underway, Rossi has been keeping his cards close to his chest with regards to his future plans.

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While many anticipate this will be the final chapter in a career that has yielded seven MotoGP/500GP World Championship and 89 wins, Rossi does have two potential ride options for 2022 should he want them.

One is with his newly-graduating VR46 Racing team, which will use Ducati machinery, or a possible stay of execution with Petronas SRT enabled partly because Yamaha - in honour of its greatest champion - is unlikely to axe him, even if the team itself has intimated it wants to use the seat for a younger upstart.

Since then Rossi’s former team-mate Maverick Vinales has announced he will exit Yamaha at the end of the year. Shaking things up, with Franco Morbidelli set to move up to the Factory, it would lead to at least one vacant seat at PSRT, Rossi insists the Spaniard’s decision has no bearing on his.

"I always said that I know that this year is difficult, is a great challenge," reflected Rossi, who moved from the Factory Yamaha team to Petronas in 2021.

"But my decision for next year depends very much from the results. So, the results of the first half of the season are not what we expect. We hope to be stronger, to fight for the better positions, so the result doesn’t help us.

"I said from the beginning of the season that I would decide in the next week about next year, and it will be like this. I will let you know when I decide."