MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi has announced his retirement after the season concluded, bringing to the end of the racer’s 26 stellar seasons.

The nine-time world champions told the media during the press conference of the Styria Grand Prix, due to be held at the Red Bull Ring Circuit this weekend.

Image: Shutterstock

The 42-year old Italian expressed that the announcement was the most heartbreaking he has ever made.

“It was hard to say and knowing that I won’t be racing again next season,” he said.

Known as “The Doctor”, Rossi is the only racer who has championed all racing classes of the MotoGP: 125cc, 250cc and 500cc, hence cemented his name among legends in the sport.

He is also the only racer who has started more than 400 races in the history of the sport, accumulating 115 victories with 89 of them coming from MotoGP.

With distinctive fluorescent yellow synonymous with number 46, Rossi has also reached 235 podium positions since his debut in 1996 at the Malaysian Grand Prix, previously held at the Shah Alam Circuit.

“It was a long, amazing journey that I have won and enjoyed… 25 to 26 years in the World Championships, that feeling is indescribable. So for next year, life would be different, but there’s always a start for something new,” he added.

For the 2022 season, he will focus on his own MotoGP racing team, Sky Racing Team VR46.

THE BRUNEIAN | KUALA LUMPUR

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