Sportweek: double cover for Valentino’s last lap

The most beautiful phrases, the helmets and the great numbers of Rossi the “Doctor”: 26 seasons at 300 per hour and two works by the street artist TvBoy to be preserved

I wanted to be like Jim Morrison, Valentino Rossi says of himself, and the comparison that comes out of his mouth seems to be anything but risky. Net of a fortunately different destiny, what unites the pilot from Tavullia to the lead singer of the Doors is the genius. The effervescence and originality, of character and thought, which, combined with talent, make you something different. Of unique. Sometimes, as in the case of the two characters in question, of inimitable. On and off the bike, Valentino Rossi, 42, 9 world titles (6 in MotoGP), the only one in the world to have won in all four classes of the bike (115 wins in a 26-year career), is it was an adrenaline rush for all those who love engines, and not only.

It was also, as Paolo Ianieri writes in the cover story of Sportweek on newsstands tomorrow with the Gazzetta at a total price of 2 euros, a source of inspiration for the youngest. Which to his competitive ferocity (“I was extremely competitive”, Valentino acknowledges himself), seasoned with a typically Romagna taste for irony and spectacle that characterized his approach to racing and life on and off the track, have even hang on. Not only that, because Vale has made a sport universally popular that before far fewer people followed.

Personage

To explain who and what the Doctor represented, nothing better than to resort to his own words, (almost) always far from the obvious and banal that too often fill the speeches and answers of the champions of any discipline. Rossi was a well-rounded character, amazing on the bike and original and interesting on the outside. Of himself, without false modesty, he said: «I was splendid. Before that, very funny ». An awareness that helped him make a difference with his opponents: «They were a very strong motivator. The rivalries at the highest level in sport are fantastic, because they lead you to give everything to try to overcome your limits and find something inside yourself that you didn’t even know you had ». Vale overcame those limits at Welkom, in 2004, in the South African Grand Prix held for the first time on Yamaha after leaving Honda, the bike with which he had already won 3 World Championships. And on which, that day, his long-time rival, Max Biaggi, sits. Rossi wins the challenge at the height of a series of breathtaking overtaking and counter-overtaking and three perfect days, in which he sets the track record in free practice and takes pole position. «It was my best feat», Valentino will say at the end of the race.

Last performance

The last one took place just a week ago, on November 14th, in Valencia. After, it was the time for words: to reiterate a retirement already announced and to tell all that was beautiful and great in his life as a sportsman and from now on there will be in that of a man, close to fatherhood. You will find an ample summary of all this tomorrow on Sportweek.

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Sportweek: double cover for Valentino’s last lap

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