JRbiker

35 months ago

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The Doctor is Out - Rossi is Retiring

Spielberg, Steiermark, Austria

Valentino Rossi won't be racing bikes next season. MotoGP photo

Valentino Rossi won't be racing bikes next season. MotoGP photo

When the MotoGP season starts next year, The Doctor will not be in.

Nine-time Grand Prix World Champion Valentino Rossi, known as The Doctor for his surgeon-like ability to carve through a race field, has said this season will be his last.

In announcing his retirement at the end of the 2021 season – his 26th – Rossi said memories mean as much as race wins. Not only will The Doctor be remembered for his skills, but he will also be fondly recalled for his personality and zest for life.

"I had a very long career and fortunately I won a lot of races, but I have some moments and victories that are unforgettable. Pure joy. Some things where I laughed for a week and after 10 days I'd still be laughing, wonder why and remember the race. It's difficult, yes. A difficult decision but you need to understand… I think in the end in sport, the results make the difference. So at the end I think it's the right way. It's difficult because I had the chance to race for my team in MotoGP, together with my brother, something that I would like. But it's ok like this I think… we have another half season, I don't know how many races, I think it will be more difficult when we arrive at the last race, but for now it's just to say my decision to everyone. I can't complain about my career!"

Rossi finished 13th Styria Grand Prix on the weekend and sits 19th in the standings with 20 points, no wins, and no podium finishes so far this season. But don’t let that overshadow the outstanding career the 42-year-old Petronas Yamaha superstar has had on two wheels.

Rossi's personality, as well as his skills, endeared him to the fans. MotoGP photo

Rossi's personality, as well as his skills, endeared him to the fans. MotoGP photo

The Italian’s record speaks for itself and puts him in serious consideration for title of the best motorcycle racer ever. With 115 wins and 235 podium finishes, he is the only racer to win 125cc, 250cc, 500cc, and World GP championships.

Rossi's legacy is firmly cemented among the fans as one of the all-time greats. His impact will likely be felt throughout the sport for years and years to come. 

The field will surely be different next season, said The Race.

Riders from across the MotoGP paddock praised Rossi and compared him to one of the all-time sporting greats. Rider Joan Mir was quoted in Motorsport.com as saying Rossi holds similar stature in the sports world as Michael Jordan.  

The Formula One world also had high praise for Rossi with many racers calling him a legend as well as an inspiration. The Doctor has test driven F1 cars in the past and said he will likely continue to race, but on four wheels, not two.

“I love to race with the cars, just a little bit less than race with motorcycles…I am a rider, a driver for life, I think,” he said. “I am just going to switch from motorcycles to cars -- not at the same level, but I think I will race anyway,” Rossi said.

Number 46 won’t be too far away from the GP circuit as his VR46 team will be piloting Ducatis during the season. But don’t expect The Doctor to be keeping office hours on his own team.

The Doctor will ride off into the sunset after this season. MotoGP photo

The Doctor will ride off into the sunset after this season. MotoGP photo

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