Rossi not racing in MotoGP "just to spend time"

Valentino Rossi says he is not racing “just to spend time” and has set his sights on fighting for victories in the 2021 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT.

Rossi not racing in MotoGP "just to spend time"

The nine-time grand prix world champion has been moved out of Yamaha’s works squad and placed into the satellite Sepang Racing Team on a factory contract.

With his current deal only for the 2021 season, Rossi’s MotoGP future beyond this year is uncertain – with SRT boss Razlan Razali revealing this week that the Italian has a performance criteria to meet before any talks with Yamaha about 2022 can take place.

Rossi hasn’t won a grand prix since the 2017 Dutch TT and has only scored three podiums in the past two years, leading to some questioning his motivation to continue.

Though repeatedly expressing a main driving force is his enjoyment of motorcycle racing, Rossi insists he is not on the MotoGP grid just for the sake of it.

“It’s life, 26 seasons is very long,” Rossi said when asked by Autosport what his expectations were for his 26th season in grand prix racing.

“But I don’t race just to spend time. This is a very important season for me, because I come from the last two seasons – ’19 and ’20 – that are less than what I expected, especially in the result.

“The results will be important, will be the key. I want to be stronger, I want to be more competitive than in the last two years, fighting for the podium, fighting to win races and trying to be competitive throughout all the season.

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi

“I hope that the season also if the COVID is not fixed it will be more normal than last year, so we can use all the different tracks in the right period.

“And the target is to be strong, be competitive from the beginning to the end.”

Much like his original plan for deciding his 2021 future before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Rossi says he wants to take the first half of this season to evaluate his performance before making a call on his future.

Though Yamaha’s supposed performance criteria are unknown, Rossi says if he can fight for podiums and wins still, then this will sway him towards extending his career further.

“I will decide during the summer break,” he said of his 2022 plans. “So, in the middle of the season, I want to make half a season [before deciding].

“My decision is from the result. If I’m strong and if I can fight for the podium, I can fight for the victory, I can continue for another year.

“Or, if not, no. So, I will decide around summer.

“It’s not an easy decision, but for sure everything depends on the results. I think if I can be competitive. If I can fight for the victory, for the podium, I can continue also another year.

“But this is my idea. I don’t speak with the team, I don’t speak with Yamaha. Maybe they say to me I don’t have a decision! It’s possible.

“It will change a lot my life, but I am not very worried. I know I’ve had a long, long career and I’m happy.”

shares
comments
Morbidelli/Rossi relationship won’t change as MotoGP team-mates
Previous article

Morbidelli/Rossi relationship won’t change as MotoGP team-mates

Next article

Crutchlow can "make the difference" for Yamaha MotoGP bid - Rossi

Crutchlow can "make the difference" for Yamaha MotoGP bid - Rossi
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.

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