Motorcycle News (UK) - - Motogp Preview -

While con­tract spec­u­la­tion rages on for most of the Mo­togp grid in a sea­son that sees nearly ev­ery­one’s agree­ments come up for rene­go­ti­a­tion, Rossi is de­bat­ing a more fun­da­men­tal de­ci­sion; whether or not to re­main in the sport al­to­gether.

With ever in­creas­ing links both per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally to Yamaha (fur­ther ce­mented by re­cent deals for them to sup­ply bikes to his Academy pro­gramme and for his VR46 com­pany to take over Yamaha’s mer­chan­dis­ing) it looks highly un­likely that Rossi will leave.

In­stead, the nine-time world cham­pion – the most cru­cial piece in the puz­zle that is the grid – has still to de­cide on whether he feels he can re­main com­pet­i­tive enough to jus­tify stay­ing in the sport.

And he’s made it clear on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions that there’s only two op­tions avail­able to him – re­main on a fac­tory bike, al­most cer­tainly the M1 – or leave the sport com­pletely, most likely to pur­sue his other goal of rac­ing on four wheels.

Say­ing that he’ll judge whether to stay based on his per­for­mances in the early part of the sea­son, it could well be that his im­pres­sive pre-sea­son test­ing form might have helped to tip his hand; if he can trans­late his test­ing pace into a sim­i­lar on-track per­for­mance come race day, then there’s no rea­son why we won’t be see­ing more of the fa­mil­iar 46 in 2017 (and in­deed, 2018 as well).

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