Petronas Yamaha SRT racer , Valentino Rossi , stated that he will reflect on the decision about his fate in MotoGP 2022 during the summer break, which is after the first nine races of 2021. He conveyed this to Trans7, as quoted by Crash.net, Tuesday (18/5/2021).
As is known, Rossi currently holds a one-year contract with Yamaha Motor Racing and is assigned to the Petronas Yamaha SRT satellite team. Initially, Rossi said the results of the first 6-7 races of the season would determine his future in 2022, but so far he has not performed well.
Five races have passed, Rossi only finished 12th in the Qatar Series and finished 11th in the Le Mans Series. In the Doha Series, he only finished 16th, and only 17th in the Jerez Series. In the Portimao Series, he even failed to finish after falling. Currently, he is sitting in 19th place in the standings with a collection of just nine points.
Make Decisions During Summer Break
Even so, Rossi admitted that he had started talking with Petronas SRT and Yamaha about 2022. He stated that the consideration process would be carried out after the first nine series, namely during the summer break, which will take place on June 28-5 August.
“Speaking with Petronas and Yamaha, it’s likely half a season, because after nine races we will have a summer break and I think I will decide my future in that period, which is after nine races,” he said.
The nine-time world champion hopes to continue racing in MotoGP 2022 so he can race at the Mandalika Circuit, Lombok, which will officially enter the racing calendar next year. However, he once again emphasized that it all depends on his racing results in the first half of the 2021 season.
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“I’m happy if I can race also in 2022 and come to Indonesia, but we still have to wait for the results, and see if I can be competitive. So, at the moment I can’t promise anything. However, I will try to keep racing in 2022,” said The Doctor.
In the same interview, Rossi also gave an opinion about the layout of the Mandalika which he had only observed through social media. “Mandalika seems like a fast track with some fast corners, which is usually nice, but to understand better, we have to try it with the bike,” he said.
“It will definitely be physically demanding because Indonesia is very hot. I raced in Indonesia in 1996 and 1997 and I remember it might be hotter than Malaysia! However, the sea is close, so if it gets too hot, we will go overboard!” concluded the 42-year-old racer.
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VR46 Finally Choose Ducati, Announced at MotoGP Mugello?
Valentino Rossi’s racing team , VR46 Team , has reportedly made a decision about which manufacturer they will work with in MotoGP 2022. On Tuesday (18/5/2021), La Gazzetta dello Sport also reported that the team based in Tavullia, Italy, finally decided to stay at the Ducati Corse .
VR46 Team has actually dropped in MotoGP this year, but merged with Esponsorama Racing. VR46 took down Luca Marini and Esponsorama took down Enea Bastianini. However, Esponsorama has confirmed that it will withdraw from MotoGP at the end of this season, and its slot will be fully taken over by VR46 Team in MotoGP 2022.
In April, VR46 Team also confirmed the main sponsorship for MotoGP 2022, with Saudi Aramco taking over from Sky, which has been the main sponsor since 2014, in both Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP. Their team name will also change to Aramco Racing Team VR46.
Had an offer from Yamaha
During the racing week in Le Mans, France, on May 14-16, VR46 Team was reported to have received an offer from Yamaha, considering that Rossi is an icon of the tuning fork manufacturer. This was even confirmed by Rossi himself, who claimed his team spoke with Yamaha and Ducati.
On the other hand, releasing Petronas SRT is also not an easy step for Yamaha, because the Malaysian team has had a lot of success with the YZR-M1 over the last three seasons. However, La Gazzetta dello Sport’s report about the survival of VR46 on Ducati makes Petronas SRT’s chance to stay at Yamaha even greater.
This Italian media also stated that the collaboration between Ducati Corse and VR46 Team might be announced at the home series of the two parties, MotoGP Mugello, Italy, on May 28-30, along with the announcement of Jack Miller’s contract extension with the Ducati Lenovo Team.
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Enea Bastianini or Marco Bezzecchi?
Even so, the project between Ducati Corse and the VR46 Team has not provided clarity about the line-up of riders for MotoGP 2022. Luca Marini is most likely to stay, but their second rider is still plagued with doubts.
The reason is, Bastianini is under contract with Ducati Corse, and there is no longer a place at Pramac Racing for him, because this team is also determined to keep Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin. On the other hand, it’s no secret that VR46 Team is eager to team up Marini with Marco Bezzecchi.
Currently, Bastianini, who is the 2020 Moto2 world champion, is ranked 13th in the MotoGP standings with 20 points, 11 points ahead of Marini. Bezzecchi is currently third in the Moto2 standings with 72 points, 17 points behind Remy Gardner at the top.