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Rossi prepares to ride off into sunset

Valentino Rossi .   | Photo Credit: ANDREAS SOLARO

Valentino Rossi is ready to wave goodbye to his army of adoring Italian fans in the Emilia-Romagna MotoGP. This will be the motorcycling legend’s final Grand Prix in front of home supporters.

Seven-time MotoGP World champion Rossi said he would retire at the end of this season, bringing down the curtain on a storied career which has made him an icon of the sport and a hero to millions of Italians.

Large crowd expected

The 42-year-old will step onto the track at Misano, the track where he cut his teeth as a rider, for the last time in front of an expected crowd of 35,000 and he insisted now was the time to step aside.

“It’s a great chance to say ciao to all the Italian fans, it’s always great to race here in Misano in my home circuit,” Rossi told reporters on Thursday.

“It’s been a long story, it’s more than 400 races and a long career. I just want to say thank you to everybody because I had and I have incredible support all over the world. It’s always a sad moment when you arrive at the end but anyway it was good, we enjoyed it,” he said.

Asked how he wanted to be remembered Rossi, one of the sport’s most personable characters, said he didn’t know how to answer. After a pause, he said he hoped the people had enjoyed following his races over all these years.

Rossi hasn’t been at his best in the slow march towards retirement. He sits 21st in the overall standings after only making the top 10 twice all season.

He is hoping for a better result on Sunday than he achieved at Misano in September’s San Marino MotoGP.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 1:31:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/rossi-prepares-to-ride-off-into-sunset/article37131169.ece

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