Someone call The Doctor!
After twenty-six seasons in MotoGP, nine-time world champion, Valentino Rossi, considers his post-retirement plans with racecars and not bikes. The Doctor's current Yamaha contract with Petronas SRT is set to expire at the end of 2021.
Rossi's performance in this year's MotoGP has been less than stellar, scoring only fifteen points in seven races. His contract includes performance criteria that will be unlikely met due to his performance in the 2021 Grand Prix. Discussions will likely be closed for a 2022 renewal based on this season.
With that in mind, the legend could continue racing, but not on a motorcycle. It's well-known that Valentino Rossi also has dipped his toes in other motorsports of the four-wheeled variety, namely in the GT3 race scene. He has also expressed interest to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans after he retires from MotoGP following several endurance events in the series.
Rossi is not exactly a rookie when it comes to endurance racing, however. He's had a few successful endurance events under his belt with Ferrari and their GT3 race car, though the series in which he will compete is still up in the air. Rossi also took a class win in Pro-Am and a third overall finish at the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi. The legend also competed in the Bahrain 12 Hours in January of 2021, finishing in third place.
Apart from that, The Doctor also is an avid rally racing fan. He's also participated in two rounds of the World Rally Championship (WRC) back in 2002, and one in 2006 where he finished in 11th place. He's had a successful stint in the Monza Rally, however, winning seven times.
All things considered, Rossi still states that he prefers the circuit over the dirt. The champion states that "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."
Rossi's decision has not yet been made. The Doctor may still ponder over his plans in the summer of 2022. Perhaps the legend will dangle a leg in other arenas following a decision to retire from MotoGP—as to what arena is a mystery for now.