Valentino Rossi steals show at Goodwood; hints at car racing future

Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 29 Jun 2015

The crowds lined up waiting for Rossi

A heroes welcome awaited nine-times Grand Prix World Champion Valentino Rossi at the Goodwood Festival of Speed yesterday.

Just hours after taking his 111th Grand Prix victory in Assen, the ‘Doctor’ arrived at Goodwood in style making an appearance on stage at the prestigious Goodwood Ball with the Kaiser Chiefs.

In the morning, tens of thousands of fans awaited the MotoGP championship leader as he prepared to set off up the famous Goodwood hill climb circuit for the first time aboard his YZR-M1 GP bike, liveried in Yamaha’s iconic yellow, black and white colours to celebrate sixty years of the Japanese marque.


Despite the presence of Formula 1 royalty such as Nico Rosberg and an assortment of other celebrities, Rossi stole the show on Sunday as he rode in to Lord March’s Goodwood mansion on his M1 in front of a gigantic crowd waving fluorescent yellow VR46 flags.

“I am very happy to be here at Goodwood,” said Rossi at the event. “I have never been before but I have seen videos so it is great to finally be here. I had to leave almost straight after being on the podium at Assen to get here but I have had a great time.

Rossi talking to Lord March on the balcony of Goodwood House

“I was very impressed, it was larger than I imagined! The venue is very big and there were lots of fans, but also famous riders, drivers and other VIPs! There was a great atmosphere when I rode my M1 up and down the hill.”

The Italian only completed one hillclimb aboard the M1, as he opted to switch to four wheels in the afternoon having been invited to drive Mazda’s 1991 Le Mans-winning 787B; the same car seen above Goodwood House on the iconic Goodwood centerpiece. The Doctor also sampled a Lancia Delta S4 rally car towards the end of the day, meaning he couldn’t get out on the M1 again.

Rossi’s love of cars is widely known, and the Doctor once again commented this weekend about how he’d like to race on four-wheels after his time in MotoGP is up…

“At the end of the day I got to drive a historic Le Mans car and a rally car, which was great fun. Two wheels is my first love but I have passion for cars too.

Rossi took one run up the hill on his YZR-M1

“When I am 40, I hope to be racing in a way, not with MotoGP but with the cars. Not at the same level, but something to enjoy. I think you have to continue to race as much as possible.

“First we have to make sure we win the MotoGP! This year it is very difficult as the other guys are very strong, especially Jorge who won four races in a row. I have a chance, I have a great chance as the Yamaha is fantastic. It looks like Marc might have come back from his problems so he will too be hard to beat in the next races but we have a good advantage in the points so this is important. It will be tough and I think the battle will continue until the last race.”

Photo Credit: Matt Dunn

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