MotoGP legend Schwantz: Rossi "still has some fight left in him"

MotoGP legend Kevin Schwantz is sure Valentino Rossi "still has some fight left in him" but admitted he is "concerned" about the Italian after a poor start to 2021.

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Rossi has scored just four points from the opening four rounds of a campaign that could be his last in MotoGP, as his current deal with Yamaha and Petronas SRT expires at the end of 2021.

With just one 12th-place finish to his credit, this marks Rossi's worst start to a season in his entire 26-season grand prix career.

Speaking exclusively in a special edition of Autosport's Tank Slappers Podcast, 1993 500cc world champion Schwantz said of Rossi: "I'm concerned about the 46, I don't like seeing him race that far back.

"It seems like he qualified a little bit better in Qatar but then he really struggled in Portugal and Jerez and not making any great advances in the race like he used to.

"Maybe it's just his comfort level is not there with the bike, maybe there's something new that Yamaha's got that's made the factory Yamaha's bike better and maybe Rossi is last on the pecking order to get it.

"So, who knows? I'm sure the 46 still has some fight left in him."

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When it was put to him that Rossi looks like he's not enjoying his racing right now, Schwantz added: "No, and as a rider it's one of the most difficult things ever.

"I remember the first few races of 95, not qualifying great, finishing back in the field, not fighting for a podium or a win like I was used to.

"As a rider it's really hard on you. Racing is fun because we all love winning and when the opportunity to win is not there, racing's really not that much fun anymore.

"So, I don't know what the answer is.

"I would have thought maybe getting to Europe, maybe not so much Portugal as much as Jerez, getting to a track he knows, he's raced at and has won races at that maybe that was going to help him get back on his feet.

"But it's definitely a struggle for him right now."

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