After 26 seasons in MotoGP, nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi is thinking about his plans for the time after his retirement with racing cars rather than motorcycles. The Doctor’s current Yamaha contract with Petronas SRT expires at the end of 2021.
Rossi’s performance in this year’s MotoGP was less than stellar, scoring just fifteen points in seven races. His contract includes performance criteria that, given his performance at the 2021 Grand Prix, are unlikely to be met. Discussions will likely close for a 2022 extension based on this season.
With that in mind, the legend could go on, but not on a motorcycle. It is known that Valentino Rossi grabbed his toes in other motor sports of the four-wheeled variety as well, namely in the GT3 racing scene. He has also expressed an interest in competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours after retiring from MotoGP after several endurance races in the series.
Rossi isn’t exactly a rookie when it comes to endurance racing, however. He has had a number of successful endurance races with Ferrari and their GT3 racing car, although the series in which he will compete is still in the air. Rossi also took a class win in the Pro-Am and a third overall result at the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi. The legend also took part in the 12 Hours of Bahrain in January 2021, finishing third.
Aside from that, The Doctor is also an avid rally fanatic. He has also competed in two rounds of the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2002 and one in 2006 where he finished 11th. However, he was successful at the Monza Rally and won seven times.
All in all, Rossi still says he prefers the track to the dirt. The champion says that “rallying is difficult in the end because it is very demanding and I want to race on circuits because I prefer it, I like it more.”
Rossi’s decision has not yet been made. The doctor could still think about his plans in the summer of 2022. Perhaps after deciding to retire from MotoGP, the legend will dangle a leg in other arenas – which arena is currently a mystery.