This weekend’s first of two MotoGP rounds in Austria is set to begin a crucial second half of the 2021 season for Valentino Rossi

The nine-time world champion’s future remains the subject of much discussion, as a move to Ducati with his own Aramco VR46 team is believed to be an option along with possible retirement.  

What could make a decision easier on whether he continues in 2022 or not is for Rossi’s results to improve after a difficult first half of 2021. 

Rossi has just one top ten finish through the opening nine races which came at Mugello, and with Austria being a difficult venue for Yamaha in recent years, a step forward in form might not come until SIlverstone. 

Speaking ahead of a return to racing following the five week summer break, Rossi added: "The summer break has been good. I was able to relax and spend some time away with my people, before heading back home for some training on the bikes. 

"It will be nice to be racing again this weekend, but to be honest I’m not sure it is the best track for us. 

"We know the areas where our bike is strong, but there are also areas that we need to improve and I think the Austrian track might not play to our strengths. 

"It is in a very beautiful place though, with a lot of green around it so although it is a difficult track, it is a nice place to be. 

"We will need to try to find the best balance for these next two races, as they are both at Spielberg, and aim to achieve the maximum that is possible for us."