Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi to retire from MotoGP at the end of the season

Valentino Rossi has announced that he will retire from MotoGP at the end of the season.

The nine-time world champion, 42, revealed the news ahead of this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix.

Rossi will raise the curtain on an illustrious 25-year career that has brought in 115 wins.

He is the only rider to have won the 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP world championships.

Speaking at a press conference in Austria, Rossi said: “I decided to quit at the end of the season. Unfortunately, this will be my last half-season as a MotoGP rider.

“It’s a very sad moment because it’s hard to say and know that next year I won’t be racing with a motorcycle.

“Next year my life will change. But it was awesome, I enjoyed it a lot, it was a long, long journey and it was really, really fun, and I had some unforgettable time with all of my guys.

Rossi was the dominant rider of his generation. The Italian made his mark in the 125cc World Championship – the breeding ground for many of MotoGP’s last stars – in 1996.

Valentino Rossi recorded 115 Grand Prix victories in an illustrious career (David Davies / PA)

Rossi claimed his first victory later that year in Brno, Czech Republic before finishing ninth overall.

A year later, he won his first world title aboard an Aprilia before moving to the 250cc class where he finished second and first in successive seasons for the Italian manufacturer.

Then came the decisive move to the 500cc class with Honda at the turn of the century.

Rossi won the world title in 2001, 2002 and 2003 before moving to Yamaha in 2004 where he won his fourth first class title in a row, followed by repeated success the following season.

The Italian pilot has announced he will retire at the end of the year
The Italian runner has announced he will retire at the end of the year (David Davies / PA)

Two more world titles for Yamaha brought his total to nine in 2009 before joining Ducati.

But two unproductive and frustrating seasons in 2011 and 2012 followed – the start of a race that saw him fail to add world crowns to his tally.

Rossi then placed second between 2014 and 2016 when he was back in the Yamaha team he left to join Ducati.

While riders like Honda’s Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez dominated the top step of the podium, Rossi, who recorded his last Dutch Grand Prix victory in 2017, failed to take that final world title. to take him to double digits.

Comments are closed.