Ex-MotoGP champion Rossi to announce future plans

Spielberg bei Knittelfeld (Austria) (AFP) –


Valentino Rossi will announce whether he plans to retire after this season in a special press conference on Thursday afternoon ahead of the ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix, MotoGP announced.

The 42-year-old Italian, who has won seven MotoGP titles, signed a one-season deal with Yamaha-SRT for this campaign and could ride for his own team next term.

"Petronas Yamaha SRT's Valentino Rossi has made a decision surrounding his MotoGP future and will reveal his plans later this afternoon after scheduling a special Press Conference at 16:00 (1400GMT)," MotoGP said on Thursday morning.

"At last, the rumours and intrigue surrounding whether the nine-time World Champion will hang up his leathers or continue for one more year will finally be answered," it added.

Rossi, who last won the title in 2009, sits 19th in the drivers standings after nine races.

Free practice for this weekend's Styrian Grand Prix in Austria starts on Friday. Qualifying is on Saturday and the race on Sunday.