The 2021 championship of Valentino Rossi, the last one in his long and successful career, he will certainly not be remembered for his results on the track, but for the farewell to the fans that he wore track after track, while he was fighting in the rear. Marriage with the Petronas Yamaha team in fact, he was not lucky and the Pesaro rider found himself competing in his worst season in the World Championship, so much so that he ended the year with just 44 points won in 18 races, finishing 18th in the standings. In recent months there has been whispered of support not up to par from the Malaysian team, which has collected meager figures also with Franco Morbidelli, Jake Dixon and Andrea Dovizioso and has concluded in tenth and penultimate place among the teams, in front to KTM Tech3 alone.
Surely, Rossi and Petronas did not have the right spark and the team manager, Razlan Razali, he admitted that he had several doubts about the engagement of the nine-time Italian champion since the 2020 World Cup: “If I could go back in time I wouldn’t do two things again. The first was to refuse the Petronas renewal offer in June 2021 because I wanted more money. The second, to be honest, I would not take back Valentino Rossi“. The Malaysian manager justified his statement as follows: “It was said that we should have signed Valentino under pressure from Yamaha, but to be honest, this pressure never existed. Personally I was skeptical, but when I saw him get on the podium in Jerez, I thought: ‘Ok, he can do it’. But after passing Covid-19, Rossi’s results were bad. And at that point the decision had already been made ”.
For Razali, the reasons for Rossi’s failure in 2020 are to be found purely in age: “The young riders are much faster, Valentino also set better times than in the past, but it wasn’t enough. His heart and head were ready to win, but the body didn’t agree“, Underlined the number one of the former Petronas team, which from 2022 will be called WithU RNF, to the Germans of Speedweek.
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