At the annual Yamaha Day held in Rimini, Italy, Valentino Rossi talked about how he sees his future in MotoGP. The Doctor told journalists that what keeps him in MotoGP are fresh challenges, challenges he has found this year from Casey Stoner on the Ducati, and as long as he keeps finding fresh goals and challenges, he will remain in MotoGP. But, he added, his stay in MotoGP will one day come to an end, and it will come within the next five years. Rossi said he believed that he will leave "when I'm 31, 32 at most".
Rossi also talked about his intentions once his contract with Yamaha ends, after the 2008 season. "We'll see what happens after then," the Italian former champion said, but added that he was happy with Yamaha, and "there is no reason to change if you are happy with your team."
This website has always predicted that Rossi would stay for a while yet: Valentino Rossi is a man with a sense of history, and a keen sense of his own place in history. Rossi is within 7 wins of taking the record for the highest number of wins in the premier class, his current 61 wins just short of Giacomo Agostini's 68. He is also close to taking 2nd place in the rankings of wins in all classes, his current tally of 87 putting him just 3 wins behind Angel Nieto's total of 90, although Giacomo Agostini's grand total of 122 wins seems out of reach, unless Rossi decides to race in two different classes at some point in the future. Then there's Agostini's total of 8 premier class championships, which Rossi could match if he wins the next 3 seasons in a row.
Some of these goals seem achievable, others less so. We believe that Rossi will stay in MotoGP for at least another 2 seasons, leaving to go and race in the World Rally Championship, his second great passion. Rossi still has a few things to prove, and some people to beat conclusively, including Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, before retiring. We will still be able to enjoy him yet.