SportMotoGPHow much did the evolution of the riding style...

How much did the evolution of the riding style in MotoGP influence Rossi's retirement?

Over the last two decades, Valentino Rossi has ridden a wide variety of bikes, from 500cc two-strokes to 990 , 800 and 1000 four-strokes in the MotoGP era. In addition, it has experienced the development of electronics, the move from Michelin tires to Bridgestone and back to Michelin, and more recently the effects of aerodynamics.

The #46 had to continually adapt its driving style. If you compare videos from the last 500cc season in 2001 and from the early years of MotoGP with the current ones, you can clearly see how different Rossi was riding back then. Driving style is a continuous evolution.

“I’ve always tried to adapt my driving style and drive in a modern style,” says Rossi . “Especially in the last two years, it has become accepted that practically everyone lowers their body next to the bike and touches their elbow to the ground.”

Marc Márquez pioneered this style of driving. Especially young drivers copied this style. The technical development of motorcycles, tires and electronics has also favored it.

Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT
Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team

“Not everyone rides like this,” says Rossi, pointing to his former teammate Morbidelli: “Franco, for example, doesn’t ride so extreme and he’s still strong. I think that at a given moment you have to adapt. From there, it’s a matter of your own style. I can do it.”

However, for the 42-year-old, changing riding style was not the reason he retired from MotoGP at the end of the season. “The problem is my results,” Rossi said bluntly. “If he had had some good results in the first half of the season…”

During the summer break, Il Dottore decided not to continue with the satellite Yamaha Petronas team and before the announcement there was speculation, especially in Italy, that Rossi might ride a Ducati for his own VR46 team in 2022. That was never a option for him for a reason.

“In general, when you change bikes in MotoGP today, you need a longer program of at least two or three years. Only then will you be able to understand everything and take advantage of the potential. Maybe I could have ridden another year, but changing bikes would have been very difficult. Honestly, I didn’t want to put pressure on my team to sign me,” he concludes.

(Click on this link or on the photo to see all the victories of Valentino Rossi in MotoGP)

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