Marquez: MotoGP ‘losing biggest part’ with Rossi retiring

Six-time world champion Marc Marquez admits MotoGP will be losing “maybe the biggest part” of the series with arch rival Valentino Rossi retiring at the end of 2021.

MotoGP legend Rossi announced on Thursday ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix that the current season will be his last in MotoGP, marking the end of a 26-campaign career in grand prix racing.

A series of incidents in 2015 – culminating in the infamous Sepang clash after Rossi accused Marquez of conspiring to sabotage his title hopes in the previous Australian GP – led to a bitter falling out between the pair, with their relationship strained ever since.

Since Rossi’s retirement announcement, a number of his rivals from his career – including Max Biaggi, Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner – have taken to social media to pay tribute to the Italian.

On Friday after practice for the Styrian GP, Marquez shared his thoughts when asked by Motorsport.com for his reaction to the announcement.

“Yeah, yesterday my bet was another one,” Marquez said. “I thought he would continue one more year with his team.

“For me it’s like we lose something, we lose a part of MotoGP, maybe the biggest part of MotoGP because Valentino always bring a lot of people and he did many things and many good things inside of the track and also outside of the track.

“So, everybody knows our personal relationship is not the best one and everybody has his way, but I don’t have any problems and I can recognise that we are losing something big in MotoGP.

“Lucky for MotoGP, still he will be involved in the world, but if we evaluate his career – his 25-year career, or maybe more – it’s something special, unique and [he’s] a legend.

“So, congrats to him for his career and I wish him the best for the future.”

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Rossi’s retirement will leave Marquez as the biggest attraction in MotoGP going into 2022, but he says "I do not feel with the responsibility of taking over from Rossi".

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On Thursday Rossi said he felt he “deserved” to win a tenth grand prix title having come close on two occasions in 2006 and 2015.

In an interview earlier this year, Rossi said it was “impossible to forgive” Marquez for what the Italian claims was a plot orchestrated by the Honda rider to rob him of the title.

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