Rossi 2022 decision will come after "six, seven" MotoGP races

Valentino Rossi's right-hand man Uccio Salucci says the nine-time grand prix world champion will evaluate extending his MotoGP career to 2022 after the opening "six, seven GPs" of 2021

Rossi 2022 decision will come after "six, seven" MotoGP races

Rossi switches to Petronas SRT for 2021 after signing a deal to extend his MotoGP career last year following 15 seasons (split by two years with Ducati in 2011 and 2012) with the factory Yamaha squad from 2004 to 2020.

The Italian will remain a factory rider, but only has a one-year deal in his pocket with SRT - Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis branding this a "technicality" owing to both the Japanese marque and SRT having not yet signed a new agreement with MotoGP for 2022 and beyond.

Much like the original timeline he gave himself before the 2020 campaign was heavily disrupted by COVID-19, Rossi - according to Salucci - will take the opening six or seven rounds of 2021 to evaluate his performance before making a decision on his MotoGP future.

Speaking to Sky Sports in Italy, Salucci said: "It will depend a lot on the races, after six, seven GPs we will see if he is having fun and how much he will be competitive.

"At that point, we will make a choice."

This season will mark the first a VR46-backed bike will race in the premier class, after a deal was struck between the company and Esponsorama Racing (formally Avintia) to run the VR46 colours on Luca Marini's Ducati.

This has very much been seen as a precursor to the VR46 team stepping up to MotoGP in its own right from 2022 - with suggestions that Esponsorama Racing may not continue beyond 2021.

Salucci says this is something being discussed, and admits the team's "heart is with Yamaha" in regards to what bikes it wants to run.

"Our guys have grown faster than expected, the time has come to think making a team in MotoGP," Salucci added.

"The road is long, the step to take is also important from an economic point of view - we are facing fundamental months.

"We don't know which bike we will go to MotoGP with, [but] for sure we all know that our heart is with Yamaha."

shares
comments
How MotoGP's COVID protocols will work in Qatar
Previous article

How MotoGP's COVID protocols will work in Qatar

Next article

Honda to remain in MotoGP for five more years

Honda to remain in MotoGP for five more years
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022
How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022 Plus

How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence Plus

The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Plus

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Autosport, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Plus

The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. Autosport analyses what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP Plus

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt Plus

How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022