PETALING JAYA: Petronas Yama-ha Sepang Racing Team rider Valentino Rossi (pic) has to hit the ground running beginning at the German Grand Prix as how he fares will likely decide his MotoGP future.
The Italian recently said he would make a decision on whether to race on in 2022 during the summer break with results the biggest determining factor.
The German GP in Sachsenring, followed by the Dutch GP in Assen will likely decide the future direction of his illustrious career.
Unfortunately for the nine-time world champion, results have been hard to come by so far this season.
Rossi starts the German GP with a best finish of 10th place so far and stands just 19th in the world championship for the Malaysian team, exactly 100 points behind fellow factory-spec M1 rider and championship leader Fabio Quartararo of France.
The only positive thing is Rossi set a competitive pace in Monday’s official test after the Catalunya Grand Prix, finishing with the 10th fastest lap time.
“We had a good test at Catalunya, we tried some settings that we wanted to look at and my pace was good,” said the Italian.
“I was in the top 10 and the feeling was positive. I hope we can continue this in Germany and have a good weekend.”
The German circuit is another one that holds good memories for Rossi with four wins and 10 podiums although it has not hosted a race since the pre-Covid 2019 campaign.
“It’s a very different track to the others, with a lot of the corners on the left and this makes it quite a tricky circuit, it can be very difficult sometimes but I have had some great battles in the past there, especially in 2009.
“I am looking forward to returning after we could not race there last year,” he added.
Teammate Franco Morbidelli, who finished just behind Rossi in ninth place during the 2019 edition of the German GP, is also looking forward to a good return.
“We have the positives from Friday and Saturday at Catalunya, and also from the test there, to take with us to Germany this weekend,” said Morbidelli, who finished eighth at the test on Monday.
“I hope we can use these and be stronger at Sachsenring, but of course we will have to see what happens when we get there,” said the 2020 world championship runner-up.