Rossi brought his MotoGP career to a close last month at his 432nd and last grand prix at Valencia , thus ending 26 seasons in which he had nine world championships and 115 wins as his most notable achievements.
The Italian had planned to play the first half of the 2020 season before deciding if he should continue for another year, but with the redesign of the calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was forced to sign earlier.
Yamaha winter-bound Fabio Quartararo for its factory team in 2021, after Rossi made the decision to wait and eventually ended up in the Petronas SRT on a factory M1.
However, the numbers have not been with him this year, as Rossi took an eighth place in the Austrian Grand Prix as his best result, finishing in his worst position in the championship, 18th with 44 points.
Regardless, Jarvis believes that Yamaha did the right thing in renewing Rossi for 2021 despite what has happened this year.
“26 years in the paddock, 16 years with Yamaha in two different stages,” commented Jarvis. “Obviously Valentino wanted to start this year with the energy and the desire to try again, because last year it was COVID-19, it was weird, we started in July, we had 14 races, there were no spectators.
“Many, many things happened, so Valentino wanted to really try to do a full season and see if he could stay competitive. But in the first part of the season it became clear that the level rose again, all the young drivers were more and more fast; Fabio was unbelievably fast, Maverick won the first race, etc.”
(Before reading on, click on the link or on the image to see the photos of Valentino Rossi’s 2021 season in MotoGP)
“So it was never easy for him from the beginning of the year. And I’m sure he’s the first to admit that the season was disappointing for him in terms of points and results.
“I still think his year was totally acceptable, and if we were to make the same decision again – even in hindsight – I still think we would make the same decision again because I think he needed to do this extra year, to finish his season well.”