Still motivated: Valentino Rossi

Paris (AFP) - Seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi insisted Wednesday that he has no intentions of merely bidding his legions of fans “ciao” when he steps away from the Yamaha factory team.

Rossi, 41, already knows he has lost his seat at the elite outfit for next season with 20-year-old Frenchman Fabio Quartararo taking his ride.

However, the Italian legend has a seat waiting for him at satellite team Yamaha-SRT.

“I want to continue but only if I am strong,” Rossi said in an interview on the sport’s official motogp.com website.

“My plan was very clear. Change some things in the team and wait until the summer to see if I could be more competitive than last year,” added Rossi, who finished a lowly seventh in the 2019 world championship.

However, the 2020 championship has yet to get off the ground due to the coronavirus which has left Rossi caught in no-man’s land.

“Sadly, with this situation, I must decide without being able to race.

“It’s suddenly more difficult, I have to think more to see if I still have as much strength and motivation.”

He added: “I have a good opportunity with the Yamaha-SRT Petronas team which is at the top level as they showed last year with Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli.”

The problem for Rossi is that he has not won a MotoGP race since 2018.

“Now I have to decide for myself if I have enough motivation to continue,” he added.

“I don’t want to go to Petronas just to do one last season and say ‘ciao’. If I race, I will give 100% and, if I can be competitive, fight for the podium.

“I have two options - either Petronas or stop, so let’s see.”