The news of Valentino Rossi retiring and Dovizioso taking his place may not be what it seems.
Speedweek.com have reported that Valentino Rossi could be retiring from MotoGP at the end of 2020 with Andrea Dovizioso looking to step into Rossi’s supposed place at the Petronas Yamaha team, it’s a rumour which has swept through the paddock like a bad smell, worrying Valentino Rossi’s fans and gaining much attention from the media, however, is this the truth, or a well put together PR stunt played to perfection?
Just before the Misano MotoGP weekend, the rumour/fake news has given a lot of people something to talk about, yet this news contradicts what has been said by Valentino Rossi himself. The 9-time world champion has personally said that he wants to continue racing in 2021 with all eyes on the Petronas Yamaha seat which practically has his name on it.
The talks, however, have taken a lot longer than expected, months and months longer than expected, leading people to wonder what is going on. With Andrea Dovizioso out of a 2021 seat, this opens a perfect door for some speculation for people to bite into and relish, with some wanting Rossi to retire and others wondering what the hell is going on.
It is no secret that Rossi has things to consider such as sponsors, his team members and salary, normally a negotiation process would not go on for so long, but as Petronas SRT Boss Razlan Razali said, “he is a special rider,” meaning there are many more things to consider, Rossi has a huge brand name with the VR46 Riders Academy behind him and his monstrous clothing line with brand deals with AGV and so on, there is a lot to consider.
For example, Rossi has an agreement with Yamaha where he can use their logo’s on T-shirts with the 46 on and sell them, but can he sell T-shirt with the Petronas logo on? That is a whole other story… Of course, I am just speculating reasons here as to why it is taking so long, however something so small as this could be the reason the Petronas contract does not see a signature on the dotted line yet.
In regard to Dovizioso, the rider is a clear MotoGP title fighter taking 3 x runners up medals, the closest man to Marc Marquez over the last few seasons, Dovizioso is a free agent, able to sign for whoever he likes, this for Petronas would be like gold dust. It is true that Dovizioso may have spoken to Petronas Yamaha, however, this could have been to make Rossi sign on the dotted line.
Razlan Razali himself posted on Facebook saying, “Setting the record straight, we are not considering Dovi at all for 2021.” Which pretty much ends the speculation which has gone on.
However, to say Rossi will retire? That is a whole other story, Valentino Rossi has said himself he is not in the frame of mind to retire, but, only time will tell.
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