Motorcycling is in celebration. Valentino rossi turns 42 this Tuesday. Many pilots at his age would have hung up the helmet by now, but not Valentino. It remains firm as if it were the year 1996, where it debuted on top of a Aprilia in the category 125 Cc (today Moto3). Over the years, the Italian was teaching his talent and demonstrating why he is one of the best in history.
Old is the wind and it still blows, the popular saying goes, and it could clearly fit Valentino Rossi. ‘Il Dottore’ will contest its 26th season in the Motorcycle World Championship, and its 22nd in MotoGP. In his years at the World Cup, he has garnered nine titles, seven of them in the top flight, one in 250 cc (Moto2) and 125 cc.
The passage of time did not affect Valentino’s performance. In 2018, at 39, he fought for the title, although he found himself on his way to a huge Marc Márquez, who made a huge difference to get his fifth title in MotoGP, who would then win again in 2019. However, Rossi never gave up. Last year, with 41 candles, he achieved his 199th podium.
One of the objectives for this season will be to break records. Beyond the fact that Rossi always wants to win, the first target that he will try to hit will be the podium. The one that eluded him in 2020, the number 200. If the results are good, and the team’s Yamaha Petronas, helps him, Rossi will be the protagonist of a championship in which the return of Márquez and a resurgence of ‘Vale’ is expected.
Rossi is very close to retirement. However, he knows that if the orders he made to Yamaha arrive and a victory falls on his side, he can stay longer. “Everything will depend on the first races,” said his right hand a few days ago. Valentino’s passion goes beyond results: if he no longer has fun on the bike, he will say enough at the end of the season.
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