Valentino Rossi has said he will make a decision concerning his MotoGP future before racing resumes this year.
The seven-time MotoGP World Champion has lost his ride at the factory Yamaha squad to rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo from next season and comes out of contract with the manufacturer at the end of the year.
Should he wish to continue in the premier class, Yamaha have reserved a ride for Rossi with the Petronas SRT team.
Initially, Rossi was going to use the opening half of the 2020 season to determine his competitiveness before committing to a new deal.
Yamaha clean swept pre-season testing though Rossi often struggled to match the pace of teammate Maverick Vinales, finishing outside the top-ten in three of the opening four tests.
But with the season curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Rossi has said he will now make the decision concerning his future before the season gets underway.
“I am in a difficult situation, because like I said my first option is to try to continue because I have enough motivation and I want to continue,” Rossi said in social media interview.
“But it’s very important to understand the level of competitiveness, because especially in the second part of last year we suffered very much and too many times I was too slow and I [could not fight for the] first five positions.
“So, in my mind, I have another year with the factory team and I need time to decide.
“And for me, I need like five, six races to understand with the new chief mechanic [David Munoz] and some modifications in the team if I can be stronger.
“The problem is [there is] no racing, so with the virus we have no racing.
“So, I think I will have to decide before racing because in the most optimistic situation we can race in the second half of the season.
“So, around August or September, we hope, if everything is good.
“So, I have to make my decision before. But anyway, I want to continue, but I have to do this decision without making any races.”
When quizzed what may be in store for a post-MotoGP future, Rossi said he would like to have a racing program of “seven or eight races every year.”
He also added that he would still remain involved in the MotoGP paddock courtesy of managing his own teams in both Moto2 and Moto3.
“We have a lot of good programmes for the future when I stop MotoGP.
“We have our own team in Moto2 and Moto3 which we enjoy very much.”
But Rossi concluded by saying that after his retirement from Grand Prix racing he would love to try his hand at car racing, with the ultimate target being a victory at the illustrious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“The second programme for me is to race with the cars,” Rossi explained.
“I want to race with the cars in some championships, and make a programme of seven, eight races every year. This is the plan for the future.”
Main image: MotoGP