Valentino Rossi’s last GP, ‘I am an icon, here’s my victory’ – Sport

The motorcycling icon gets off the saddle. It is the image that the same Valentino Rossi he hatched a few days ago for his farewell to racing in the last career press conference in Valencia.

“The best thing for me in many years of motorcycling is that I have become an icon – He says -. In these seasons in which I took to the track, many people, thanks to me, became interested in this sport, making it more famous and followed. Among us riders we talk about the race, but having been an icon is what remains best for me. “

Now the moment of farewell to racing, announced months ago, has arrived and has now also been quite digested by the multiple world champion who will experience a weekend in the saddle different from all the others. His dream was “to become the MotoGP world champion and I realized it” he says and on the regret of having missed the assault on the tenth world title he adds: “It would have been important to win it, it would have been like closing the circle, but that’s how it went. . I’m not complaining, I’ve had a very long career, already fighting for the win is always great fun. “

The champion from Tavullia also admits that he made a bad decision to leave racing, a pain now behind him. “The worst moment? It was when I decided to quit. Towards June it was tough, if I had been more competitive I would have continued but I had to quit. Now I feel pretty good, even if I am experiencing particular sensations”.

“From Monday everything will be different, my life will be completely different – he adds – I’m trying not to think about it. I’ll just try to have fun this weekend. Then? I will continue as a car driver, I will try to have fun “.

Meanwhile, with a time of 1’31 “082 Joan Mir he was the fastest in the warm up of the Valencia Grand Prix, MotoGP class. Suzuki’s Spaniard preceded Nakagami (Honda) and teammate Rins. Fourth time for Francesco Bagnaia, with a delay of 271 thousandths. The pole holder, Jorge Martin, also on Ducati, he finished in ninth place, preceded by Zarco, Bastianini, Quartararo and Binder. Valentino Rossi he finished in sixteenth position.

The nine riders of the world championship born and raised in Valentino Rossi’s Riders Academy wanted to pay homage to their ‘master’ and in the Valencia races they each run with a special helmet, one of those that contributed to making the history of the # 46 and worn in the course of his long career. “It was a nice surprise, I really didn’t expect it – commented Rossi to Sky – The best gift they could have given me”.

Honda Racing Corporation, the sporting arm of the Japanese brand, also joins the greetings for Valentino Rossi. Honda sends “its most sincere thanks” to the champion from Tavullia, wishing him “all the best for the next phase of his life”. And in a note he recalls that “together with the Honda HRC, Rossi won three consecutive world championships in the premier class from 2001 to 2003, winning 31 of the 48 races held in this period”, first riding the iconic NSR500 two-stroke and then with the introduction, in 2002, of the 1000 cc four-stroke engine on the RC211V.

After leaving Honda (at the end of a relationship not without controversy and misunderstandings, ed), Valentino “continued to be a fierce competitor and rival. His level of competitiveness continued to push Honda HRC and its riders to give the better than himself on the track “. This did not prevent Rossi from winning, but with Yamaha, even the 2004 and 2005 World Championships. Now that his career is about to close, Honda “wishes him all the best to start a new phase of his life away from the circuit”.

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