Rossi Won’t Be Leading a MotoGP Team After All

MotoGP veteran Valentino Rossi has denied Carmelo Ezpeleta’s offers of fielding a MotoGP team.

Just last week, Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of MotoGP’s promoter Dorna, has said that should Rossi ever desire to field a MotoGP team, he would get it. It would seem that, given recent developments, Rossi is reluctant to jump into such a large commitment.

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN - MAY 08:  Valentino Rossi of Italy and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP  rounds the bend during the MotoGp Tests In Jerez at Circuito de Jerez on May 8, 2017 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN – MAY 08: Valentino Rossi of Italy and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
rounds the bend during the MotoGp Tests In Jerez at Circuito de Jerez on May 8, 2017 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)

Rossi responded to Carmelo’s comments earlier this week, saying that the focus for his current involvement with MotoGP will remain that of the rider, not manager:

“For the moment, I have no plans to have a team in MotoGP. Maybe in 10 years, when we are older, but at the moment we prefer to focus on young riders.

Carmelo said to me that he’s very happy if I have a team in MotoGP. I am very happy too, so thanks to Carmelo but at this moment it’s not in our plan because we are not big enough.

Also, our idea is to try to help the young Italian riders, so Moto3 and Moto2 is already enough.” – Valentino Rossi

There is no doubt that the Yamaha star must be feeling his age. He’s made multiple remarks to it over the last year – sometimes in jest and sometimes a bit more serious, but the Italian master knows that he’s not getting any younger. There is no question that Rossi still maintains a fiery competitive spirit within the sport, but his decision to abstain from leading his own MotoGP team could hinge on other riders, and not himself.

Rossi's still got fuel left in his take, but how many more years of riding can the vet take before he hops off for good?
Rossi’s still got fuel left in his take, but how many more years of riding can the vet take before he hops off for good?

Valentino has been shepherding a crew of Moto2 and Moto3 riders for some time now. While the riders under his tutelage, such as Nicolo Bulega and Andrea Migno, have shown promise in some of their outings, the green riders still have quite a journey in front of them before they’re whipped into prime MotoGP shape – and something tells us that’ll suit Rossi just fine. Rossi has the headspace he needs with new teammate Maverick Vinales to focus on the fight on the track, not in the garage – space he’ll desperately need to utilize if he’s going to mount a successful attack on Marquez’s crown.

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