The seven-time MotoGP world champion will finish out the season and hints at a car racing future
August 10, 2021
By Kali Kotoski
The famed racer Valentino Rossi announced last week that the 2021 MotoGP season will be his last, capping off an incredible quarter-century career that chalked up seven world championships and gave the sport one of its greatest and most charismatic athletes.
The 42-year-old Italian, nicknamed The Doctor, is the only rider to have started 400 or more races. During his career he earned 89 wins in the top MotoGP category and 26 others from the junior 125cc and 250cc categories.
The announcement came during a news conference that was specially arranged ahead of the Stryrian Grand Prix in Austria.
“I decided to stop at the end of the season,” he said. “Unfortunately this will be the last half season as a MotoGP rider. It’s difficult, it’s a very sad moment because it’s difficult to say and to know that next year I will not race with the motorcycle.”
During the press conference Rossi reflected on life after motorcycle racing.
“I do this thing for more or less 30 years. Next year my life will change. But anyway, it was great, I enjoy very much this long, long journey and it was really, really fun,” he said.
Estimates of Rossi’s net worth in 2021 vary from $160 million to $200 million.
The 2021 season was the first year Rossi rode for the Malaysia-based Petronas Yamaha team after spending the previous eight years with the Yamaha factory.
Over the last decade, Rossi has hinted at the idea of becoming a serious auto racer after his MotoGP career ends. In June, an Italian newspaper reported that he was considering a full season in the World Endurance Championship.
Rossi will greatly be missed from the sport as an unforgettable icon that drove the success of MotoGP into the next century and retained his charm as a fan favorite. Good luck on your next adventure, Doctor!