Valentino Rossi confirms MotoGP retirement plans as he considers quitting amid Yamaha woes

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Valentino Rossi says he wants to move from motorbikes to cars when he decides to retire from MotoGP. Rossi’s contract with Yamaha expires at the end of 2021 and the Italian legend could move on from the sport after 26 seasons.

The 42-year-old has won nine Grand Prix World Championship titles during an illustrious career, but it seems he could be about to call time on his era in the sport.

Rossi is currently in the midst of his worst-ever season, having scored just 17 points from the first eight races following his 14th-place finish at the German GP on Sunday.

He has performance criteria in his Yamaha contract which he has to meet before the manufacturer will discuss renewing his deal.

It currently appears unlikely that he will achieve his goals, meaning 2021 could be the final year we get to see Rossi riding with the iconic number 46 on his back.

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Yet he is unlikely to leave motorsport behind altogether, having expressed a desire to move into car racing instead.

“Like I always said, when I finish with MotoGP I want to race with the cars,” Rossi said.

“I did some experience with rallying because I am a rally fanatic.

“I also did a world championship race, but for me rallying at the end is difficult because it’s very demanding and I want to race on circuits because I prefer it, I like it more.

“I have experience racing the GT3, which is an interesting category because it has a lot of different factory cars, important – from Ferrari to Porsche, from Bentley to Aston Martin.

“So, I think I will race with that type of car when I stop racing in MotoGP. But I don’t know in which championship sincerely.

“There’s a difference – there’s the endurance championship, there’s the 24 hours, a lot of races. But I hope to race there.”

Rossi has previously expressed an interest in competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours, while he has also made endurance outings in Ferrari’s GT3.

He made two appearances in the 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series for Kessel Racing at Monza and the Nurburgring.

The Italian also took a class win in Pro-Am and third overall at the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi in 2019 and came third at the Bahrain 12 Hours in January this year.

Meanwhile, Rossi has contested two rounds of the World Rally Championship, crashing out of Rally GB in 2002 and finishing 11th on Rally New Zealand in 2006.

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