Valentino Rossi retires from racing as legendary rider calls time on career
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Seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has announced his retirement after an illustrious career in the sport.
The Petronas Yamaha driver made the announcement in an exceptional press conference this afternoon at the Styrian Grand Prix, Austria.
Rossi has enjoyed a phenomenal 21-year career but had always been adamant that his future in the sport depended on his level of performance and results, which have taken a hit in recent times.
The Doctor has now revealed that he will not be at the starting line in 2022 in the MotoGP after achieving almost everything in the sport.
Rossi said: "I said during the season, I'll take my decision for next year after the summer break.
"I've decided to stop at the end of the season. Unfortunately this will be the last season as a MotoGP rider.
"It's difficult, it's a sad moment. It's difficult to know next year I will not race with a motorcycle. I've done this for 30 years.
"Next year my life will change but it was great, I enjoy very much. It's been a long journey."
The 42-year-old was replaced by Fabio Quartararo at the Factory Yamaha team this season after enduring a disappointing opening nine rounds at the satellite Petronas Yamaha squad.
Before the announcement, he sat just 19th in the world championship and had not finished higher than tenth place in a race.
There had been speculation that the Italian would join his own VR46 Ducati team for 2022 rather than calling time on his career completely, with the Ducati bike being managed by his team.
But his announcement of an exceptional press conference being hosted by series promotor Dorna always signified that this would be the likely outcome.
An emotional Rossi added: "I had a very long career and fortunately I won a lot of races.
"But there are some moments and some victories that are unforgettable and a pure joy.
"It's a difficult decision but you need to understand that in sport the results make the difference.
"I have the chance to race for my team in MotoGP together with my brother, so that is something I would have liked.
"But it's okay like this. We have another half-season, it will be more difficult when we arrive at the last race.
"Now is just to say my decision, and I can't complain about my career!"
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- Valentino Rossi
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