Bengaluru, May 21: MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi insisted that he has no intentions of merely bidding his legions of fans “ciao” when he steps away from the Yamaha factory team. The 41-year-old, already knows he has lost his seat at the elite outfit for next season with 20-year-old Frenchman Fabio Quartararo taking his ride. However, the seven-time MotoGP world champion has a seat waiting for him at satellite team Yamaha-SRT. “I want to continue but only if I’m strong,” Rossi was quoted as saying in an interview on the sport’s official motogp.com website.
“My plan was very clear. Change some things in the team and wait until the summer to see if I could be more competitive than last year,” added Rossi, who finished a lowly seventh in the 2019 FIM MotoGP World Championship. The 2020 FIM MotoGP World Championship is yet to start due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has left the Italian caught in no-man’s land. “Sadly, with this situation, I must decide without being able to race. “It’s suddenly more difficult, I’ve to think more to see if I still’ve as much strength and motivation.” He added:
“I have a good opportunity with the Yamaha-SRT Petronas team which is at the top level as they showed last year with Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli.” The problem for Rossi, who has won nine world titles across all categories is that he has not won a MotoGP race since the Dutch Grand Prix at the Assen circuit in 2017. “Now I’ve to decide for myself if I have enough motivation to continue,” he added. “I don’t want to go to Petronas just to do one last season and say ‘ciao’. If I race, I’ll give 100 per cent and, if I can be competitive, fight for the podium. “I’ve two options – either Petronas or stop, so let’s see,” concluded Rossi, who is the only rider in history to have competed in more than 400 Grand Prixs across all categories.