In the past twelve months, Valentino Rossi has rarely shown any skill. He was World Cup 15 in 2020. and is now World Cup 19. That’s why he’s doing himself a disservice by continuing to drive in 2022.
The 42-year-old Valentino Rossi does not look into the cards. In the last few weeks and months he has also avoided his fellow racing drivers. On Friday he almost never showed up at the Grand Prix at 6.30 p.m. at the meetings of the Safety Commission, which he has only visited in the past has waived in the rarest cases.
He wanted to avoid annoying questions, including those from old companions like Franco Uncini and Loris Capirossi, who hold functions and offices there. World Cup marketer Dorna was even suspected in April that Rossi would throw the stuff up during the season if his performance and results at Petronas-Yamaha do not improve. But the Italian does not want to be seen as a contract breaker, and now after the return of the spectators he wants to say goodbye to his loyal fans on as many racetracks as possible.
Of course, he imagined the circumstances differently.
You can twist and turn it however you want. The most popular motorcycle racer today has clearly missed the right time to retire, and not by a few weeks or months.
The facts are known. The last victory is now four years ago (Assen 2017), the last podium was achieved by VR46 in July 2020 in Jerez, the last top ten result in September 2020 in Misano.
Numerous other superstars in the two-wheeler scene also failed to quit at the height of their careers. But to still appear in the Grand Prix World Championship twelve years after winning the last title, no exceptional talent has achieved that.
Casey Stoner even drew a radical line. He won the World Championship for Repsol-Honda in 2011, then cashed in again and announced his retirement at the end of the year about six months after winning the title at Le Mans in May 2012.
Graziano Rossi: “Vale drives until he’s 46”
After returning to Yamaha in 2013, Valentino Rossi repeatedly indicated that he would now sign the last contract. At some point his dad Graziano joked about the starting number: “Valentino will drive until he is 46 years old.”
The Yamaha factory rider finished the 2019 season in seventh place overall, when he achieved two strong second places in Argentina and Texas in April. But in 2020 he fell to 15th place in the World Cup. After 4th place in Misano, there were six straight zeros (three times due to corona infection).
The negotiations about the contract with Petronas-Yamaha dragged on for many months.
In 2021 Rossi was deported to a MotoGP customer team for the first time in his career. His place in the works team was needed for Fabio Quartararo.
But the misery began before that when he was humiliated in the MotoGP World Championship by his VR46 pupils Morbidelli and Bagnaia. In 2021 he was joined by his brother Luca Marini, who as a 2021 rookie and Yamaha privateer has only collected three points less than the famous number 46.
“It wasn’t the academy’s actual goal that my own riders would defeat me in the MotoGP class,” joked Rossi in 2019.
The talents had marched up through the classes too quickly – and Rossi had missed the appropriate time to quit.
Rossi has had the worst starting positions of his GP career this year (it started in Shah Alam in 1996) and the worst racing results. It is no longer uncommon for him to arrive outside of the points or fall.
The fame is crumbling, the splendor is falling off the statue of the great master who survives generations of racing drivers. Vale has already fought against Jorge Martinez, against Capirossi, Biaggi, Gibernau, Melandri, Biaggi, Stoner, Lorenzo, Márquez and now against Viñales and Quartararo, Miller, Zarco or Morbidelli.
We have been happy to forgive Rossi for the past two years
I never made a secret of my admiration for Valentino Rossi. The charismatic 115-time GP winner and nine-time world champion was and is a gift for every reporter. Fans all over the world adored him – and they still do.
For years I had hoped that Rossi would stay in the GP world as a racing driver.
Because he has fought his way to the top again and again after setbacks (even after the two Ducati years).
I don’t believe in it now. And he can no longer beat Agostini’s all-time record with 122 GP victories.
Valentino has lived in the racing saddle all his life. We are happy to forgive him for the past two years.
But the good guy shouldn’t do a third year with such achievements.
Rossi’s record in the premier class
2000: WM-2. on a Honda 500, 209 points, two GP-Sege
2001: WM-1. on a Honda 500, 325 points, eleven wins
2002: WM-1. on a Honda 990, 355 points, eleven wins
2003: WM-1. on a Honda 990, 357 points, nine wins
2004: WM-1. on a Yamaha 990, 304 points, nine wins
2005: WM-1. on a Yamaha 990, 367 points, eleven wins
2006: World Cup 2nd on a Yamaha 990, 247 points, five wins
2007: World Cup 3. on a Yamaha 800, 271 points, four wins
2008: WM-1. on a Yamaha 800, 373 points, nine wins
2009: WM-1. on a Yamaha 800, 306 points, six wins
2010: World Cup 3rd on a Yamaha 800, 233 points, two wins
2011: World Cup 7. on a Ducati 800, 139 points, no victory
2012: World Cup 8. on a Ducati 1000, 163 points, no victory
2013: World Cup 4th on a Yamaha 1000, 237 points, one win
2014: World Cup 2. on a Yamaha 1000, 295 points, two wins
2015: WM-2. on a Yamaha 1000, 325 points, four wins
2016: WM-2. on a Yamaha 1000, 249 points, two wins
2017: World Cup 5. on a Yamaha 1000, 208 points, a win
2018: World Cup 3. on a Yamaha 1000, 198 points, no victory
2019: World Cup 7. on a Yamaha 1000, 174 points, no victory
2020: WM-15. on a Yamaha 1000, 66 points, no win
2021: World Cup 19. on a Yamaha 1000, 17 points, no win