Rossi To Stay For "Five More Years"

One of the specters currently haunting MotoGP is the question of when the series' biggest audience puller, Valentino Rossi, will retire. After losing the title now for two years in a row, speculation had been mounting that Rossi would leave MotoGP sooner rather than later, possibly as early as the end of the 2008 season.

In a recent interview with the Italian magazine MotoSprint, Rossi put an end to that speculation, claiming that he is likely to stay in MotoGP for another 5 years, which could see The Doctor remaining in MotoGP until 2012. Those 5 years are not definite, however, as Rossi has said in earlier interviews that the age he is likely to retire at is around 31, which would mean 3 more seasons in MotoGP for the 28 year old.

What is certain is that Rossi will race in 2009, "unless I win every race next year", according to MotoSprint. Who Rossi will be racing with is the next area of conjecture, with the Italian's contract with Yamaha due to end after the 2008 season. Rossi has already made veiled threats about leaving Yamaha if the Japanese factory doesn't up its game and regain most of the deficit it conceded to Ducati this year, leading to yet more speculation that The Doctor could end up riding for the Bologna factory in 2009, in a dream marketing matchup for Ducati and for Dorna in their key Italian market. But we shall have to wait until at least mid-season before we learn what Rossi's plans are for 2009. With The Doctor in his current capricious mood, anything could happen.

More details of the MotoSprint story are over on

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