Rossi: "We are going to try to sign my contract this weekend"

'The Doctor' affirms that it will be for one more year, but makes it clear that it does not have to be the last and that it may also continue in 2022 with 43 years.


Valentino Rossi has announced that he, Yamaha and Petronas intend to sign his contract to continue one more year on the grid and makes it clear that it does not have to be the last. He will race safely at 42 years old and, if everyone is happy next year, he will even race in 2022, with 43 studs. He said it before starting the Catalan GP, which he reached after a crash at Misano 2.

-What's new about your renewal with Yamaha to go to Petronas?

-We are going to try to sign this weekend, because between the Misano races we fixed everything and also in the last days. The situation is very clear. I will race with Petronas next year, but the contract is a bit long, with some things to be fixed that we still do not agree on, honestly, but I think that during this weekend we will sign the contract and I am very happy to continue the next year, with Yamaha and with Petronas. We will let you know as soon as possible.

-What do you disagree on?

-For me, sometimes in MotoGP we sign the contracts for the following year too early. Many times we start thinking about the next season before we even think about this season. Each time we sign before. We usually sign much earlier than in F1, for example. I agreed with Yamaha and with Petronas, we have been talking since Jerez. And since we agreed, we were in no rush. It is an important contract and there were things to resolve: technical details, the bike and also the team, because some guys will move from the Petronas team to the official with Quartararo, and vice versa. In general, we were not in a rush. We have come this far, I am happy and it is fine like this

-Idalio Gavira as coach, David Muñoz as technical chief and Matteo Flamigni as telemetric, but he will lose people who have been by his side for his entire career.

-I really dislike it, especially for Alex (Briggs, the Australian) and Brent (Stephens, the New Zealander), because they wanted to come with me and they have said many times, especially Alex, that when he runs he is with me, that when I get injured he is injured. And Brent more or less told me the same thing. It will be sad not to have them next year and also not to be able to do the last race together. I really dislike it. Honestly, I have tried, but other people also work at Petronas and it has not been possible. I am happy to continue having Mateo, David and Idalio, but I will be very upset not having Alex and Brent, because when I enter the box it is as if I went home. They are from my family after so many years and it will be sad not to see them next year.

-Is the new contract only for one year or one plus one?

-My mother asked me today what I am going to do at the end of next year, as if to say that it is impossible to continue. (Laughs) I do not know. We talked about doing one plus one, but we decided to do one. He only says one in the contract, but it is also written that if we are all happy, Yamaha, us and Petronas… but it depends a lot on my results from the first part of next season. And then in the summer break we will decide together what to do, but we will have to see. If next year I am strong, I am competitive, I do podiums and I fight to be in the top five of the championship, I can also continue. But let's wait for next year, besides, here things change from one day to the next. It goes well like this at my age.

-So the option is to continue after 2021?

-It is not a true option, but in the contract it is written that, if we are all happy, we continue. I got a little angry with Yamaha because at the beginning I only put one year, as if the last one were certain, and I told them that it was not true, it will surely not be the last because it will be necessary to see how I am doing. They have understood it and agree with me, but we have decided together that for now we will sign one and then we will see.

-Yamaha has won many times in Barcelona, although it has a very long straight and little grip. What weekend are you looking forward to?

-First of all, I really like Barcelona. It is one of my favorite circuits, from the first time. I always enjoy driving here. In the last two years I was competitive with the Yamaha, fighting for the podium, and I hope to be strong this year too. It has a long straight in which we will suffer, but also fast and medium corners, in which we have to enter fast and in which our bike is usually good. We will see from tomorrow, because the temperature is different and we will try to be strong.

-Three consecutive races and six in seven weeks, are they more difficult from a psychological or physical point of view?

-Both. We have a bit of experience in this already this year and I don't like it that much. Psychologically, doing our best on a track and getting back on it is quite boring, and it's hard to do three in a row, especially if we do a test in the middle of Misano. That was a big mistake for the physicist. It was not a good idea. We are going to have several triplets and we will have to tighten. It's a strange year.

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