Valentino Rossi keen to avoid Michael Schumacher-style comeback

Valentino Rossi says part of the reason he chose to remain in MotoGP for two more years is his desire to avoid having to make a Michael Schumacher-style comeback

Valentino Rossi keen to avoid Michael Schumacher-style comeback

Yamaha announced on Thursday that 39-year-old Rossi is to remain with its factory team for another two seasons, meaning he will continue racing until at least the end of 2020.

The seven-time premier class champion acknowledged that the length of his contract means he risks fading in competitiveness, but said he was keen to avoid retiring too soon and then missing racing.

He cited the example of Schumacher, who quit Formula 1 at the end of 2006 only to end up making a return in 2010, as well as his old MotoGP rival Max Biaggi and World Superbike legend Troy Bayliss.

"I saw a lot of great riders, and also drivers, stop at the maximum of their career, like Schumacher, also Biaggi or Troy Bayliss," said Rossi.

"Schumacher and Bayliss came back on the track [after retiring]. So I decided I will race to the end. I don't want to think in the future, 'maybe I can do another two seasons'.

"It can be a risk [that I become less competitive], yes. But if I follow this [logic], I would have stopped already six, seven or eight years ago."

Asked if he had considered extending his Yamaha contract by only one year, Rossi replied: "Yes, we speak also about one by one with Yamaha.

"But you always think about two [years], also for the balance with the contract of the other riders. If you sign you need to be able to do two years, and stay in line with all the other top riders."

Rossi's new contract will mean he will race in MotoGP until the age of 41, but the Italian believes other riders could follow in his footsteps if they remain sufficiently healthy and motivated.

"I think that I'm maybe one of the first that tries [to race into his 40s]," said Rossi. "I think also all the other riders that are here are able to keep the top level until 40.

"Physically, if you are strong, you can. It depends on your motivation, on your life. If you like to continue, I think everyone can do."

shares
comments
Valentino Rossi agrees two-year Yamaha MotoGP contract extension

Previous article

Valentino Rossi agrees two-year Yamaha MotoGP contract extension

Next article

Yamaha could offer Johann Zarco factory MotoGP bike for 2019

Yamaha could offer Johann Zarco factory MotoGP bike for 2019
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi
Author Jamie Klein
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021