This weekend’s Emilia-Romagna MotoGP will be nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi’s last home race of his storied career.  

With the Italian set to retire at the conclusion of this season, a further 10,000 fans have been allowed to attend the event compared to last month’s much reduced capacity crowd. 

Rossi, who finished the first race at Misano in 17th, is not expecting significant improvements in performance this weekend though, instead expects race two to be ‘tougher’ due to cooler conditions playing a factor. 

Speaking ahead of the weekend, Rossi added: "It’s been good to have these two weeks without races, as we had some busy times – including travelling to the USA, which was a really demanding race. 

"During this time I’ve been training hard at home to make sure we can face the final three races of this season in the best physical condition. 

"This second race in Misano will be tougher than the first one because it is likely to be cooler than one month ago. 

"We need to work to give our best, try to be a bit faster than in the last races and fine-tune the settings to be more competitive. 

"The previous race in Misano was already a really emotional moment for me and, of course, this one will be a special race at home and I really hope the Italian fans can enjoy it."

While 2021 has been the worst MotoGP season of the Italian’s glittering 25-year career, Rossi did manage to eke out a points scoring finish at COTA last time out, his first in four races.