Rossi explains why he didn't commit to early Yamaha deal

Valentino Rossi says his decision not to commit to extending his MotoGP career with Yamaha until later in the season was because he 'needed answers' on his own form.

Rossi explains why he didn't commit to early Yamaha deal

The nine-time grand prix motorcycle world champion has been phased out of the works Yamaha squad for 2021 by Fabio Quartararo, who was announced as Maverick Vinales's teammate on Wednesday.

Rossi was asked by Yamaha for a decision at the start of the year, but he wanted to wait for a handful of races in 2020 to see how competitive he still is having not won a race since the '17 Dutch TT and enduring a lacklustre '19 in which he managed just two podium finishes.

He enters the new season with a change in crew chief to David Munoz, who comes from Rossi's own VR46 Moto2 squad, and admits he does have his sights set on continuing.

Should he do so, Yamaha has committed to supplying him with a full factory bike and support – likely lining up at Petronas SRT.

Read Also:

Commenting on Wednesday's announcement, Rossi said: "For reasons dictated by the riders' market, Yamaha asked me at the beginning of the year to make a decision regarding my future.

"Consistent with what I said during the last season, I confirmed that I didn't want to rush any decision and needed more time.

"Yamaha has acted accordingly and concluded the ongoing negotiations.

"It is clear that after the last technical changes and with the arrival of my new crew chief, my first goal is to be competitive this year and to continue my career as a MotoGP rider also in 2021.

"Before doing so, I need to have some answers that only the track and the first few races can give me.

"I'm happy that, should I decide to continue, Yamaha is ready to support me in all respects, giving me a factory-spec bike and a factory contract.

"In the first tests I will do my best to do a good job together with my team and be ready for the start of the season."

Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis called Rossi's decision "totally understandable", but had to act to secure Vinales and Quartararo in its factory line-up as they are two riders likely to be highly sought after, with the former linked to Ducati over the past few months.

Should Rossi decide to retire at the end of 2020, Jarvis says Yamaha will continue to "expand" its collaboration with his VR46 Riders Academy and Master Camps.

"If he feels confident and continues to race, we will provide a Factory-spec YZR-M1 bike and full engineering support," Jarvis added.

"If he decides to retire, we will continue and expand our collaborations off track with the young riders' training programmes of the Riders Academy and the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp, and with him as a Yamaha brand ambassador.

"Anyway, that is all speculation – right now we have a full season ahead of us and I can assure the fans that Valentino will have our 100% support every day until he eventually one day decides to hang up his leathers."

shares
comments
What factory Yamaha exit means for Rossi
Previous article

What factory Yamaha exit means for Rossi

Next article

Lorenzo returns to Yamaha as test rider

Lorenzo returns to Yamaha as test rider
Load comments
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Prime

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Motorsport.com's pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Prime

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Prime

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Prime

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo Prime

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Prime

What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano Prime

The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021