Valentino Rossi Debunks Retirement Talk, Confirms Intention To Race Past Current Contract
Valentino Rossi has done everything there is to do in the world of motorcycle racing. He’s a nine-time world champion who also holds a handful of racing records in the sport. At 36 years old, you would think that Rossi’s already contemplating retirement from the sport he has dominated for the better part of the last decade. Well, you’d be wrong because Rossi has no intention of hanging up his helmet anytime soon. In fact, he wants to keep on racing in MotoGP well beyond the end of his current Yamaha contract that expires in 2016.
Rossi hasn’t publicly said what his motivations are for wanting to continue to race in MotoGP, but it’s a widely held belief that winning a 10th world title remains his primary objective. You can’t blame him for feeling that because great champions in any sport remain consumed at the thought of winning as many championships as they can before Father Time taps them on the shoulders.
It’s the same thing with Rossi, who hasn’t won a MotoGP title since 2009. He’s currently sitting at the top of the points standing this season, but he also knows more than anybody else that his current form isn’t indicative of what’s going to happen in future races.
For now, Rossi’s bent on concentrating all of his efforts in winning his first MotoGP title in six seasons. But don’t even bother asking him if his current contract with Yamaha would be his last because the whole world already knows the answer.
Win or lose this season, the most celebrated motorcycle racer in history wants to continue racing. If anyone has earned the right to say that despite his advancing age, it’s Valentino Rossi.
Why it matters
A world without Valentino Rossi racing in MotoGP is going to take a lot of getting used to. Actually, it seems inconceivable for the legions of fans who grew up watching Rossi win one world championship after another.
I count myself in this group of people because I became interested in MotoGP right around the time Rossi was winning championships left and right with Ducati. I often wondered what kind of superhuman performance it would take for other riders to strike him down from his throne. But no matter the challenges, Rossi just kept on winning.
Seeing him retire from MotoGP would definitely be a shock to my senses, although oddly enough, it’s already something I experienced when Michael Schumacher retired from Formula One in 2006. F1 didn’t feel the same after that and it took a number of seasons before I got used to the fact that the Maestro himself was no longer racing for Ferrari.
He did come back in 2010 for Mercedes, but he was no longer the same Schumacher. I don’t want Rossi to go through the same thing. When the time comes that he does retire, I’d want him to ride off into the sunset, content and satisfied that he exhausted every last ounce of energy he had before hanging it up.
But if there’s still a small amount of competitive juices coursing through his veins, I’d like to see him continue doing what he does best. And if it ends up with him winning one more world championship, then as fans of his, that would be the perfect ending to arguably the greatest motorcycle racing career in history.