Valentino Rossi is maybe living one of his hardest season ever, maybe even more hard than 2011-2012 where he strugglet a lot with Ducati, and folks started to think again about his retirement, provided for 2020, when his Yamaha contract will expire.
Nine-time World Champion had his thoughts about that, saying he did not lost motivation and he does not want to end his career: “I do not like not winning, even if it happened in the past. I won 89 races in MotoGP, I could even stop racing but I did not lose my motivation and I do not want to give up. It is normal that people speak about my age, even me was wondering 10 years ago if I was old”
Anyway, Yamaha has to look to the future, where Valentino Rossi will not ride anymore. Lin Jarvis, Yamaha’s Managing Director, thinks MotoGP is ready for his retirement: “I think MotoGP is ready if Rossi is gonna retire. When that happened in other sports it did not have immediate effects. For example, when Ayrton Senna died in that tragic incident , F1 kept going, and same when Michael Schumacher retired. MotoGP quality is really high, races are good and we have six manufacturers and many other brands”.
Surely Yamaha will miss Rossi in Jarvis’ opinion: “Will we miss Valentino? Surely. I am still sure that life continues and he will be involved in MotoGP in some way. Rossi left Yamaha to join Ducati in 2011, he was angry with us in that period. It was normal, Lorenzo won his first title in 2010 and Valentino thought he had to leave, then in 2013 decided to come back with another mentality and everything changed”
What about possibility that Rossi will join another team? Jarvis does not think so: “Valentino he is facing up last chapter in MotoGP with Yamaha and I am not sure he does not want to join other teams, it is like Marquez would decide to leave Honda right now”.
Not only MotoGP future is not depending by Valentino Rossi, but also Yamaha’s one: “To be honest, Yamaha’s future does not depend by Valentino Rossi. His heredity with us is over and we will continue our job even without him. This does not mean Valentino is not important for us, I hope he will stay as Yamaha ambassador. Retiring or not should be a decision of who will notice that he is not competitive as he wants or when he will suffer lack of motivation. I do not think there will be any conflict, usually the two parts come to the same conclusion”