Coronavirus outbreak puts Rossi retirement decision on hold

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

MotoGP’s coronavirus delay means Valentino Rossi will be unable to make a decision on retirement until much later in the 2020 season.

The Doctor was due to use the firs few races of the season to figure out whether he would carry on in the blue riband class for at least another year or hang up his Daineses.

But with no firm start date for the championship and May’s Jerez round looking increasingly unlikely, the nine-time king of the world will have to wait.

“This has messed up my plans, we will have to understand when we will be able to run. Things seem to go long, they have cancelled the European Championship in football,” said Rossi.

“As for my choice, I was hoping to decide whether to continue after the first part of the season, but now everything slips. I would like a few races to understand how competitive I can be, that would be important.”

The delay is also putting undue pressure on Petronas who have yet to sign a replacement for Fabio Quartararo - the kid who replaces Rossi in the factory team.

If the two are to do a straight swap, team boss Johan Stigefelt will need to start his cogs moving as the 2021 season will begin on time, so talks and deals for next year are already running behind.