Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not Valentine's, but Valentino's Day! From Superbikeplanet.com

Rossi 31
text and image by dean adams
February 16, 2010
Photo: Rossi in 1997

February 16 is Valentino Rossi's birthday; he turns 31 today. The nine-time world champion will no doubt spend a quiet night in with a few hundred close friends, all of them chatting and laughing at machine gun volume and pace.

While Barry Sheene maybe came the closest to eclipsing the sport before Rossi, the Italian has truly transcended motorcycle racing with his popularity, accomplishment and charisma. While Rossi currently has no plans to leave racing or retire, MotoGP is certainly going to be a very different place without him.

As former world champion Wayne Gardner put it a number of years ago: "Every time you see Rossi ride, you're seeing history made."


Larry and Heather said...

Rossi more than anyone conveys an image of having fun while dealing with the pressures of being the one they all aim at in MotoGP. I remember one race years ago when he finished 3rd and said at the post-race press conference he should have been made to buy a ticket since he was fortunate to have the best seat possible to watch the two guys in front of him battling for the win! He demonstrates joy in sport almost all the time, win or lose. To us this quality makes him much more than perhaps the greatest motorcycle roadracer of all time, he's truly a great sportsman which is rare these days.

Jim said...

Haircut Val, por favor!