The MotoGP legend, Valentino Rossi, appears to have signed a two-year deal to race with the satellite team Petronas Yamaha SRT MotoGP team according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The official announcement is set to be released at the Jerez round between June 17-19.
The deal was made for the 2021 season with the possibility to extend the contract for a second year to 2022. This announcement came after Franco Morbidelli revealed that he already signed a two-year deal with the Petronas Yamaha SRT MotoGP team for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
Rossi’s decision doesn’t come as a surprise although the rider previously said that he will wait until midseason to announce if he will still race or if he’ll retire from MotoGP. The speculation about the Italian rider’s future came after the factory Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team announced that they’ll race with Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo for the 2021 MotoGP season. So, the only possible option for Rossi was to join the Petronas Yamaha SRT MotoGP team alongside Franco Morbidelli. Also, it looks like the Yamaha promised to give Valentino Rossi a full factory-supported M1 MotoGP bike to race in the upcoming seasons.
Moreover, the motivation for Valentino Rossi to continue racing in MotoGP could be regarding breaking the all-time victory record which is held at the moment by Giacomo Agostini with a total of 122 wins. Rossi at the moment has 115 wins, so the rider is just seven wins short to equal the number one spot.
With this new deal, if Valentino Rossi will race including the 2022 MotoGP season, the rider will achieve a total of 26 seasons of racing in MotoGP (including the 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP classes) and he’ll be 43 years old and still compete at the top level in motorcycle racing. Quite impressive!