After contemplating remaining in the sport with his own Aramco Sky VR46 Ducati team next season, Valentino Rossi has today confirmed his intention to retire at the end of this season. 

It’s a decision that was largely based on results, which have not been to the Italian and Petronas SRT Yamaha team’s expectations so far this year.

Following Rossi’s solo press conference appearance in which he announced the news, all six MotoGP riders in the official pre-event press conference for the Styrian Grand Prix, spoke about the global icon - including all other Yamaha riders.

Fabio Quartararo said this about Rossi and his decision to hang up his leathers after 25 years in the grand prix paddock: "Yes, difficult to believe. He was already a two-time world champion and I was still not born. 

"Imagining that next year he will not be with us racing is kind of sad. He was the guy that made me really want to be a MotoGP rider when I was a kid; also waiting for hours at the hospitality to get a picture. 

"For me, yes he’s the legend of the sport and he has had an amazing career. He’s still my idol. I have no words to describe him."

Of the six riders involved in the press conference, Maverick Vinales is the only one to have shared a pit box with Rossi.  

And the Spaniard uttered similar words to his now French team-mate Quartararo: "Absolutely he was my point of reference when I was a kid. When I start to love and have a passion for motorcycles; I see Valentino’s celebration and how he won the races. 

"As a kid I grew up and had the chance and the opportunity to share the team with him. For sure, to internally be sharing the data, comments and everything; you know I had the chance to learn, this is the most important. 

"Valentino is more than an icon, a legend, at the end he’s my idol and the point of reference I have since I was three years old until now. 

"It’s sad, but at the same point we need to say thanks to him because he make grow up a lot the MotoGP."

This weekend is the first of three consecutive race weekends in which the Italian has a new team-mate, as Franco Morbidelli continues his recovery from a knee injury. 

That man is Cal Crutchlow, who aside from Dani Pedrosa - competing as a wild card for KTM this weekend, has spent the most seasons racing against Rossi of all the riders set to race this weekend. 

Crutchlow added: "What he’s done for the sport is incredible. He’s a rider that as Johann [Zarco] said, no matter where you are in the world people ask what you do or what you did and you say motorbikes, you just say Valentino Rossi and they already know. 

"He’s just one of them great sporting icons since we’ve all been alive. As you know, I stopped at 35 years old. I could not go on seven more years, but what he’s done, his motivation to be fast is incredible. 

"As I said in some interviews today, he’s going faster than he’s ever been before at a lot of these tracks. To be able to do that is incredible."