MotoGP in Valencia: The end of the Valentino Rossi era...and more

Motorcycle Sports

The 2021 MotoGP season ends next Sunday with the Valencia Community GP. The Ricardo Tormo Circuit may not host the title decider, but it is the stage for a particularly special round as it is the true end point of an era in the premier class.

Valentino Rossi will ride the last race of his career. This means that from now on there is no one from his generation left to compete. The Italian is so far the only remaining rider from the 500cc era, having had one of the longest careers ever: he reached the main class in 2000 and the World Championships in 1996.

Now only one rider of older generations remains in action: Andrea Dovizioso, who returned to the peloton in the middle of this year and will remain there until 2022. Apart from #04, only Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia) will be in the peloton having made his MotoGP debut in the 2000s - he rode four races in 2009 but did not make his full-time debut until the following year, and came back for good in 2012.

But it is not only riders that make an era in MotoGP, but also teams. And in this chapter, there are also farewells in Valencia. Gresini will continue, but after seven years of partnership with Aprilia will return to be a satellite team - now of Ducati for the first time in its history.

Aprilia also ends a phase of its presence in MotoGP at the Valencian Community GP. It will contest its last race associated with another team before creating a fully factory structure next year, in which it will keep its current riders (Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales).

On the other hand, Esponsorama Avintia puts an end to its trajectory in MotoGP that began in 2012 and lasted ten seasons - during which it had riders such as Héctor Barberá, Johann Zarco, Loris Baz, Tito Rabat and, currently, the promising Enea Bastianini and Luca Marini.

It is also an end of cycle for Razlan Razali's structure now known as Petronas Yamaha SRT. After three seasons it will enter a new era in 2022 as RNF MotoGP Racing, entering a new phase of its existence where it says goodbye to Rossi to welcome Darryn Binder as Dovizioso's colleague in 2022 - it remains a satellite of Yamaha, now without the support of Petronas.

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