Valentino Rossi: “I’ve never thought about stopping”
MotoGP fans around the world breathed a collective sigh of relief when Valentino Rossi vowed to race on until the end of 2014 during last weekend’s French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
After Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner dropped a bombshell that he is retiring at the end of 2012, Rossi stated his intention to race for at least two more years.
Rossi’s statement buried recent reports in The Daily Telegraph that he had told those closest to him, including father Graziano and manager Davide Brivio, that 2012 will be his last after a dismal spell with Ducati.
The 33 year-old said: “I have never thought during my career to stop. I like racing very much so I never think to stop. I was very lucky because I had Graziano who helped me a lot in my career.
"When I was a child to go racing with a motorcycle was a reward for good behaviour. If I was good Graziano would take me with the motorcycle. I have the motivation and the good taste to race and try to give the maximum.”
Reflecting on Stoner’s decision to walk away from racing when he will be just 27, the nine-times world champion added: “It is a balance because to make this life you have a lot of positive things but also some negative things like the pressure or when a lot of people criticise you without knowing the real situation.
"Or a lot of people are happy when you crash or make a bad result. If this balance is more on the negative then I think it is the right choice to stay at home like Stoner said.
"To stop at the top is a dream for every sportsman but for me the price is too high to pay if you have the taste to continue. For me I think I will stop when I don’t have the taste or when the races start to feel like work. “