Valentino Rossi will miss the start of the new MotoGP season this year. From 1996 to 2021, Rossi shaped the motorcycle world championship like no other rider and inspired thousands of fans for MotoGP.
What will happen to the series once Rossi is gone? Honda is very relaxed about the years to come.
“The sport itself is very exciting. Motorcycling has always been very special. You can feel the drivers fighting each other,” says Honda team manager Alberto Puig, describing the advantages of MotoGP. “It’s a very exciting sport for everyone.”
“There have been many great drivers in the past. Valentino is one of them. There have been many very good drivers who eventually retired. Life goes on. New generations are coming up. People will always be remembered that were important for racing. But we live in the present,” stresses the Spaniard.
Moto GP: Honda rejects Valentino Rossi’s request
“Racing is not affected. The important thing is that racing is so exciting that it encourages people to follow it. That’s the case,” clarifies Alberto Puig, adding: “Valentino Rossi is always portrayed in history as one be remembered by the best. That’s for sure.”
Although Rossi celebrated three consecutive world titles with Honda, there is a tense tension between the Japanese manufacturer and the Italian motorcycle icon.
Honda resents Rossi’s departure at the end of 2003 and denied Rossi’s request to take the 2001 World Champion machine.