MotoGP is a sport of legends and there have been many iconic riders who have managed to leave a mark in this dangerous yet enthralling sport. But when it comes to the most popular rider MotoGP has ever witnessed, there’s just one name that comes to mind – Valentino Rossi! The Doctor held a press conference yesterday to announce something substantial. While some of us thought that he would announce staying in the Premier class for some more time, most of us knew deep in our hearts that what was coming our way.
Watch his statement
Motorcycling legend and nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi confirmed Thursday he will retire at the end of the season after 26 years lighting up the sport.
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What the man had to say
“I have decided to stop at the end of the season,” the 42-year-old Rossi said. “It’s hard to make this decision, I would have wanted to race for another 25 years but the moment has come to say, `Stop.’ So, unfortunately, this will be my last half season as a MotoGP rider. It’s a sad and difficult moment for me, to say that next year I won’t race with a bike. I have done this for nearly 30 years and next year my life will change from a certain point of view. But it was great and I had so much fun … we still have half a season, I think it will be more difficult when we get to the last race. It was a long journey together, many people who support me today or race with me weren’t even born when I started on the track. It was an incredible support and sometimes difficult even for me to comprehend, but it makes me proud and I think we have had fun together.”
Nine World Championships, 115 wins and 235 podiums, and being the only competitor in history to win titles in the 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP categories, mean Rossi’s name will forever feature in the history books. But his unique brand of charisma, speed, race craft and world domination – plus a dash of rock and roll – have made the the current Petronas Yamaha SRT man something more than a rider. He will forever be our inspiration.