Valentino Rossi will compete at this weekend’s Misano MotoGP - the first of two final home rounds before retiring after the season with Andrea Dovizioso alongside him. 

Dovizioso has penned a deal that will take him until the end of 2022 with the Japanese manufacturer. 

While never team-mates before, Rossi and Dovizioso have been competing against one another in the premier class since 2008. 

Rossi, who described the pair’s relationship as ‘good’, is curious to see how Dovizioso gets on: "I’m very happy to have Andrea [Dovizioso] as a team-mate, first of all because we have a good relationship and also we are great rivals. 

"We fought together in MotoGP from 2008 in the first race and I think that we did a lot of good fights. 

"It’s important for the championship, he’s an important name for the championship because in the last years he was always a top rider, and also I’m very curious to know his feeling from the bike." 

The nine-time world champion also discussed Misano itself during the pre-event press conference, as this is his true home race. 

In fact, his first ever experience on a big motorcycle at a circuit came at this venue some 30 years ago (1992). 

"Yeah, Misano is always a special race, a special weekend because I live very close to here," added Rossi. 

"Tavullia is very close, but also because I grew up on this track as a rider. 

"The first time I tried a motorcycle, a big motorcycle in a track was here in Misano in 92 I think, so 30 years ago and it’s always great. 

"Also we will have a lot of fans during the weekend and especially on Sunday, so it will be very important to try and give the maximum for being competitive and strong because this is the most important thing."