Nine-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi has said he was the first “modern rider” in the series, and he became a “lesson” for future riders.

Valentino Rossi is a MotoGP legend. Nine times he has been crowned world champion, and he has been around for a quarter of a century.

Rossi made his debut in 1996 in the old 125cc class, rising through to MotoGP back when it wasn’t even MotoGP – it was the 500cc premier class. In a recent interview with La Gazetta Dello Sport, Rossi said he began the new wave of MotoGP riders.

“I was the first modern MotoGP rider. I did many things first, which have become a lesson for many riders today. I started very young, but when I was 20 I was already in the 500cc and my path was followed by everybody. There are some things I did that everyone looked at.”

Rossi was also asked about his future aspirations in MotoGP, and he said, despite being 42, that he would like to continue post-2021 if he can meet the performance criteria Petronas Yamaha have tasked him with.

“My reasoning is very simple and it makes me strange that some people don’t understand it, maybe my way of thinking is different. I like the way I feel, the sensation, the adrenaline that comes from winning, getting on the podium, or just having a good race. I’m fine for a few days. I like that feeling there.”

“I know very well that in the end time will have the win, unfortunately for everybody, it’s like that, but I try with all my strength to make it as difficult as possible, that’s it. And that’s the only reason I’m still racing.”

Rossi has only scored four points so far this season, a number he’s hoping to add to come the Spanish Grand Prix this Sunday, May 2nd.

Journalist, writing various articles for ASN. MotoGP specialist and ASN's resident motorsports history nerd. Can generally be found screaming at stupid strategy choices while watching the tv.