Video: Valentino Rossi Is Retired, But We’ll Never Forget Him
You can’t deny the man’s got charismaby Harry Fisher, on LISTEN 02:27
He may have retired from MotoGP racing but, unlike many ex-racers, Valentino Rossi is still number one, the Greatest Of All Time, and his popularity just isn’t waning. This interview conducted during his last year in racing - 2021 - shows the class of the man.
Rossi May Be Gone From The MotoGP Paddock, But He’s Certainly Not Forgotten
It might be mere months since the rider many consider to be the greatest of all time, Valentino Rossi, hung up his racing leathers but the hysteria and affection that surrounds him will likely never dissipate.
Throughout his astonishing 26 year career, he won more races than anyone except that other great Italian, Giacomo Agostini, on his way to nine world championships, one each in 125cc and 250cc and seven in 500cc/MotoGP. At the end of his career, he was racing against riders who had literally grown up idolising him and he remained the yardstick by which others were measured, even when he was being left behind by those same young guns.
Rossi was a breath of fresh air in the racing paddock which could, at times, take itself far too seriously. His post-race antics became increasingly elaborate and have been emulated by so many riders.
He was a racer through and through, often winning races on the line and not by running away at the front and riding a lonely race in order to win. He wore his heart on his sleeve and had more on- and off-track rivalries than some riders have victories. That was always going to be the case: when you’re the best, you have a large target on your back.
His way of racing was to have fun first and foremost. He carried on having fun away from the race track and his training regime involved riding at his ’Ranch’ near his home town of Tavulia, in the company of friends and members of his VR46 Academy, whom he was training to form an Italian answer to the recent dominance of Spanish riders in Grand Prix motorcycle racing.
This interview, conducted by Suzy Perry for BT Sport, on the occasion of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2021, is typical of Rossi: relaxed, fun, talking with affection about the sport he has given so much to and which has given him so much.