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Rossi set to stay longer in MotoGP?

"It depends what I decide in 2011, if I take a one or two-year contract" - Valentino Rossi.
Next year's MotoGP World Championship is unlikely to be Valentino Rossi's last, with the newly crowned nine-time title winner now 'thinking out loud' about a shot at Giacomo Agostini's grand prix win record.

The Italian superstar has one more year to run on his existing Yamaha contract - and could put his name at the top of all the major premier-class records by the end of 2010.

Rossi already heads the all-time list of 500cc/MotoGP race wins (77), podiums (127) and poles (58) - and is just one title away from joining Agostini on a record eight premier-class world championships.

But Rossi faces a far tougher challenge in terms of total grand prix wins and titles, over all classes.

Nine world championships has put Rossi joint third in the overall record books, but catching Angel Nieto (13) and Agostini (15) is all but impossible in the modern era of racing one class per season.

However the all time grand prix win record remains a more realistic goal.

Agostini holds the record with 122 victories in all classes, while Rossi is currently second with 103. Each MotoGP season contains 17 or 18 rounds, so Rossi would need to ride for at least another two years.

And, judging by comments made immediately after clinching his seventh MotoGP crown one round early at Sepang on Sunday, the question won't be if he signs a new contract - but for how long.

"Maybe I can get close to that record of 122,” The Sun reports Rossi as saying. “It depends what I decide in 2011, if I take a one or two-year contract.

"If I had to decide today I would sign up straight away for another two seasons.”

But who will Rossi ride for in 2011?

The Doctor appears unhappy that his main title rival, Jorge Lorenzo, is now also his team-mate - although this could simply be a bargaining position with Yamaha - whilst rumours at Sepang suggested the more Rossi-friendly Vittoriano Guareschi could replace Livio Suppo as head of the factory Ducati team in preparation for a future #46 switch.

Substantial obstacles continue to stand in the way of the ever rumoured Rossi/Ducati partnership - not least what would happen to Ducati's present number one Casey Stoner and the fact that Rossi would insist that crew chief Jerry Burgess and as many members of his current team as possible make the move with him.

Related Pictures

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Rossi, Malaysian MotoGP 2009. Photo courtesy of Yamaha
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Rossi and Vinales 2017 Movistar Yamahas

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Jessica Smart - Unregistered

October 26, 2009 6:10 PM

If Rossi becomes world champion on Honda, Yamaha, and also a Ducati.....This would be a smart move for Rossi to leave Yamaha. Casey Stoner would need to get 7 more titles, and swap teams, twice, just to equal Rossi! Stoner won't get 5 or 6 more titles because Lorenzo will win some of them, and by then Simoncelli will be on fire. I do believe this is a once in a lifetime event watching this unfold.

Dave Southword - Unregistered

October 26, 2009 10:23 PM

Looking at the more immediate future, now that Rossi has nailed the MotoGP crown how cool would it be if he rode as a wild card in the last ever 250cc race? Although there would be a danger that might overshadow the occasion, it could also be a great send off for the strokers. Stick Max on one as well - he's already an Aprilia rider. Fireworks!

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