With MotoGP still over a month away from even the optimistic May 3 start date at Jerez, Valentino Rossi has revealed plans are afoot to follow F1 by holding a 'virtual' MotoGP to help fill the void.

That would involve riders from various classes competing together online via the latest official MotoGP computer game.

"I know a lot of very fast [video game players], for example Bagnaia and my brother Luca," Rossi said during an interview with Italy's Sky Sport channel.

The nine-time world champion described himself as "not very fast" on computer games but "still part of that generation.

"I remember the first time my mum took me to buy a PlayStation, the happiness of when I brought it home, I would have been 12-13 years old," he said.

But even if Rossi agrees to take part in a virtual race, it won't replace the unique buzz he gets just before a real MotoGP.

The 41-year-old, who has been forced to push back a decision on whether to race on in 2021 due to the calendar delays, explained:

"Usually before the start I crouch beside my bike, I talk to her, tell her that from then on it will be just me and her, that we will try to get on the podium and that she must give me a hand in the difficult points.

"She has never answered me yet but I believe in it so much, if she spoke to me, I would not be surprised!

"When I stop racing it will be this feeling that I will miss the most, the one before the start. You have a lot of adrenaline and the desire to do well mixed with the fear of making a mistake is an unforgettable feeling.

"Many riders race just for [the intensity of] what you feel after warm-up until you are on the grid. But the worst moment is when Moto2 starts, because you begin to be afraid, you know that soon it's your turn.

"Then when the green light goes off, you go. You almost pass into another dimension."

Officially, MotoGP still plans to hold all 19 of its remaining rounds this season, which would mean a full 20 race line-up for the Moto2 and Moto3, which competed in Qatar.

But with no sign of the coronavirus abating in Europe, the latest 2020 calendar is certain to undergo further changes.

And as the time available for rescheduling more postponed races shrinks by the day, cancellations will become inevitable.

That would broadly leave MotoGP with two options: Either accept there will have to be fewer races, or break with tradition by hosting two grand prix at some rounds to keep the 20-race tally.

Rossi, whose debut grand prix season in 1996 was held over 15 rounds, seems to favour the former.

"This year's goal is to have as many GPs as possible," Rossi said. "A double race weekend as in Superbike? It's an idea, but you could also make a championship of 12-13 races, lose seven of them but keep the usual MotoGP format, it is not essential to do all 20 GPs."

A recent Crash.net Twitter poll suggested most fans feel a MotoGP season of between 11-15 races would be the minimum for a credible 'world championship'.

 

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