Valentino Rossi is "cheering on" fellow Italians who have seen their communities turned into a "war zone" by the coronavirus and has not made a decision on his MotoGP future.
Italy has been the hardest hit of any nation as COVID-19 spreads across the globe, 4,825 losing their lives in the country.
With the season on hold due to the virus, the seven-time MotoGP champion has offered his support to those so badly affected.
"Here in Tavullia the situation is difficult, unfortunately many people are sick here and also in Pesaro. We must all hold on, waiting for this moment to pass," the Yamaha rider told Sky Sport Italia.
"We cheer for the people of Bergamo and Brescia. I have seen very bad images, it looks like a war zone.
"I have many friends there and right now I’m the one cheering them on, while usually I’m the one they cheer for.”
Rossi will not rush into making a call on whether to continue racing next year after the start of the season was delayed.
He added: "It was hard [The cancellation of the season-opening race in Qatar], because we understood that we would not have run just on Sunday before leaving [for Qatar].
"This has messed up my plans, we will have to understand when we will be able to run. Things seem to go long, they have cancelled the European Championship in football.
"As for my choice, I was hoping to decide whether to continue after the first part of the season, but now everything slips. I would like a few races to understand how competitive I can be, that would be important."