If he's not fast enough by the middle of the season, Valentino Rossi says he'll finish at the end of the year.
If he’s not fast enough by the middle of the season, Valentino Rossi says he’ll finish at the end of the year.

A decision on whether the Italian will remain an active rider in the MotoGP World Championship in 2021 will be taken mid-2020 as the nine-time World Champion contests his 15th year of competition in a global series.

Following yesterday’s bombshell news that Yamaha had, effectively, retired Rossi from the factory Yamaha number one squad in favour of Fabio Quartararo it’s been announced that Rossi and Yamaha will take until mid-2020 to make the final call on whether he will remain an active rider in the MotoGP World Championship in 2021.

Rossi (#46) has been replaced in the 2021 Factory Yamaha Petronas squad by upcoming youngster Fabio Quartararo (#20)
Rossi (#46) has been replaced in the 2021 Factory Yamaha Petronas squad by upcoming youngster Fabio Quartararo (#20)

This time frame was reportedly requested by Rossi to evaluate his competitive speed compared to the MotoGP grid – and the Italian says that this will only be possible after completing the first seven or eight races of 2020.

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Should Rossi decide to continue as a MotoGP rider in 2021, Yamaha has said that it will make sure that he will have of a Factory-spec YZR-M1 bike and full Yamaha engineering support. However, there has been no news of when the crucial in-season updates for the motorcycle would be made available to Rossi – the key aspects of being a Factory rider is getting these updates first with the advances in the motorcycle then trickling down to non-Factory team riders a race or two later.

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Tony Carter

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