Valentino Rossi will retire from MotoGP at the end of 2021

Valentino Rossi has announced he will end an illustrious MotoGP career when the chequered flag falls in the final race in Valencia this year.

This will bring an end to what has been an incredible 25-year career in grand prix motorcycle racing, which has saw The Doctor win nine World Championships and 115 races.

This morning, it was confirmed the 42-year-old would hold an exceptional press conference in Austria with many believing he would announce his retirement.

Speaking during the conference, Rossi confirmed he had made a “difficult” decision to put a stop to his MotoGP career.

“I said I would take a decision for next year after the summer break, and I decided to stop at the end of the season,” he said.

“Unfortunately this will be my last half season as a MotoGP rider.

“And it’s difficult, it’s a very sad moment because it’s difficult to say and know that next year I will not race with a motorcycle, I’ve done that for I think more or less 30 years.

“Next year, my life will change. But it was great, I’ve enjoyed it very much, it’s been a long, long journey and it was really, really fun.

“It’s 25, 26 years in the World Championship, so it was great. And I had a unforgettable moments with all my guys, the guys who work for me, so… I don’t have a lot to say! Just this.”

From 2022, the nine-time champion will have a different role in the paddock, as he takes the reins of the VR46 Team, which will make its premier-class debut in 2022.

Rossi will contest his final half-season with the Petronas SRT team before hanging up his leathers, starting this weekend at the Red Bull Ring.