Motorcycling legend Valentino Rossi has announced his retirement from MotoGP.
The 42-year-old currently rides for Petronas SRT Yamaha but has only scored 17 points despite having a 2021 spec chassis. Teammate Franco Morbidelli has scored more than double, despite having a 2-year-old bike and injury issues.
Despite his poor record in 2021, the Italian is by far the most successful rider in modern MotoGP. He has taken nine Grand Prix titles, including seven in the premier class, along with 89 wins and 199 podiums.
Rumour has it that Saudi Aramco, the title sponsor of Rossi’s VR46 team wants him to ride in 2022, but he has not taken that route. He is likely to take a managerial role with his team as it makes the step up to MotoGP with Luca Marini and a yet unannounced rider.
The announcement comes as a shock, but not a surprise to the MotoGP and wider sporting community. Rossi is a name synonymous with MotoGP, and the only rider most non-followers of the sport know. His retirement will undoubtedly leave a gaping hole in the sport he called home for a quarter of a century.