Could this be the end to Valentino Rossi in MotoGP? German media reported Friday that nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi will field a two-bike Moto3 team in the World Championship next season, with Italians Romano Fenati and Luca Marini as riders. Marini is Rossi’s half-brother.
Rossi reportedly has ordered two bikes from KTM and is seeking between sponsorship of approximately 1.5 million to 2 million euros for the team. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem considering the magnetism of the Rossi name and brand.
While Rossi has a contract to race for Yamaha through 2014, this move and the formation of his “46 Riders Academy” to cultivate young Italian talent proves he is thinking ahead to a life out of the seat. Rossi will be 35 next February, and 2014 will be his 19th consecutive season as a Grand Prix rider. The sun is setting on his riding career.
The “46 Riders Academy” is promoting and managing such young Italians as Fenati, Marini and Niccolo Antonelli as Rossi tries to stem the Spanish tide of World Championship domination.
Rossi said last month at Indianapolis and this week at Misano that he would not field a Moto3 team next year. But the German media report indicated Rossi has talked with IRTA about a spot for two bikes on the Moto3 grid next season and that he has made a provisional order with KTM for two bikes.