Does Valentino Rossi miss MotoGP? “I stopped late but I don’t care!” | MotoGP
The legendary Italian ended his famous career a year ago at Valencia – this month he returned to the same venue to watch his protege Francesco Bagnaia win his maiden MotoGP title.
Rossi accumulated seven first-class titles – only Giacomo Agostini has more (eight), in the 1960s and 1970s.
When asked if he missed out on MotoGP, he replied: “On the one hand, no, it’s fine.
“My career has been very long and I tried until the end, I stopped a bit late but I don’t care!
“There are times when I naturally miss it, yes. It’s normal.”
Rossi raced for 12 years after his last championship – through a doom with Ducati and a return to Yamaha which failed to bring him back to his past glory.
He retired last year, aged 42, and this season competed on four wheels in the GT World Challenge. He will race again in the same championship with the same team, except in a BMW rather than an Audi, next year.
“Car racing helps me a lot – it’s not that I do it to detox – but you find exactly the same sensations,” he explained.
“I also wanted and needed a bit more free time, to do 10 or 12 races a year instead of 23.
“Now doing MotoGP is total, all year round. It has changed a lot, they are real athletes. I remember the months that have passed, not now.”
The 2023 MotoGP calendar is the biggest yet – with 21 rounds, 42 races.