WATCH: Valentino Rossi Takes a Trip Down Memory Ahead of His Final MotoGP Race

Published 11/12/2021, 2:11 PM EST


2021 seems to be the year that the old guard is stepping down. First and foremost, Kimi Raikkonen is retiring from racing for good. However, there was an even bigger bombshell in the two-wheel arena. This is because MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi announced his retirement from racing.

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This weekend is the Grand Prix at Valencia, which generally heralds the MotoGP season finale. Admittedly, the championship is over, as Fabio Quartararo has won his first title. However, the sport is bidding adieu to the 42-year-old Rossi, who has been the most successful rider. In addition to that, he is responsible for putting MotoGP on the map.

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Ahead of the final race weekend, the 9-time world champion was pictures with all of his championship-winning bikes. His championships include one 125cc, one 250cc and seven MotoGP would championships. This includes five MotoGP titles on the trot. Rossi, fondly known as The Doctor, boasts of incredible statistics, like 89 wins, 199 podiums and 55 pole positions.

Valentino Rossi has left a long-lasting legacy in MotoGP

Over the course of nearly 25 years, the Italian living legend has made a huge impact on the sport. Aside from the incredible statistics and memorable rivalries, Rossi has left an indelible mark. Back in 2014, he established the VR46 Academy in order to nurture the next Italian young talent.

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MotoGP – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – April 18, 2021 Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Valentino Rossi before the race REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

Already, several riders from his academy have progressed to MotoGP. Notable names include Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia, Franco Morbidelli, Enea Bastianini and his own half brother, Luca Marini. Finally, Rossi has capped everything off with establishing the Sky VR46 team. His team has already branched out to the Moto3 and Moto2 divisions, as he nurtures young talented riders.

It is also worth mentioning, will this be the last we see of Valentino Rossi? In my personal opinion, we may never see Rossi out on the race track ever again, as the legend has officially reached the end of his career. However, there is still a chance that he could remain in the MotoGP paddock as a team principal of his VR46 squad.

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One thing is for sure, millions of fans will miss seeing the iconic #46 bike out on the track. There are some numbers that will always be associated with different entities, and Rossi will be the first thing that comes to mind when one mentions the number 46. Of course, he was not perfect, as he has been embroiled in a few controversies. However, no legend is immune to this, but Rossi has moved past it and established himself.

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Dhruv George

12314 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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