Rossi: Becoming an “icon” in MotoGP “the best thing of my career”

Valentino Rossi says “the best thing” of his MotoGP career was how he “became something like an icon” and making motorcycle racing “more famous” globally.

Rossi: Becoming an “icon” in MotoGP “the best thing of my career”

The nine-time grand prix motorcycle world champion stands at the gates of his final MotoGP race in this weekend’s Valencia Grand Prix, as he gets set to call time on a truly glittering 26-season career.

The 42-year-old will make his 432nd grand prix start this weekend having amassed 115 victories – 89 of which in MotoGP – 199 podiums and seven top class championships.

Rossi has been the biggest driving force for MotoGP’s popularity over the last two decades thanks to his personality as well as his on-track achievements, and remains proud of this fact ahead of his final outing this weekend.

“I think that the most positive thing in my career is that a lot of people started to follow MotoGP to follow my career from the beginning, and the sport became bigger, more famous in Italy but also all around the world,” Rossi said when reflecting on his career as it draws to a close.

“It’s good to understand that during my career I became something different, something like an icon and this is a great, great pleasure also if for a rider it’s more important what happens on track, the result, everything.

“But I think this is the best thing of my career.”

Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Rossi took part in a special ceremony where all of his championship-winning bikes throughout his career were unveiled before an exceptional press conference was staged on Thursday afternoon at Valencia.

The Yamaha rider admits “it’s a strange feeling” to be coming into his last race but is “trying to act in a normal way”.

Read Also:

“I always imagined this press conference, because it can arrive, but it’s here in Valencia that’s not a special place for me,” Rossi said.

“But it’s like this, and I have to say it’s a strange feeling.

“I try to act in a normal way because usually Valencia race is a good moment for everybody because it means that the holidays start after a long season because we are around from March and everybody is happy to stay at home for a bit.

“But you always think from Monday that it will be different, another life.

“I try not to think a lot in this way because we continue to race with the cars. [I’ll] try to enjoy this moment because life when you are not a MotoGP rider will change.”

shares
comments

Related video

Vinales “very sad” MotoGP season ending after “very late” start
Previous article

Vinales “very sad” MotoGP season ending after “very late” start

Next article

MotoGP riders react to Rossi’s “end of an era” retirement

MotoGP riders react to Rossi’s “end of an era” retirement
Load comments
The salary hit MotoGP riders face in 2022 Plus

The salary hit MotoGP riders face in 2022

Rider salaries in the premier class have dropped significantly in the last four years, mainly due to the effects of the pandemic. But it has also changed due to a shift in the contractual model used by manufacturers, which is set to have a significant impact on the balance of power in 2022

Injury, COVID, camels and redemption: A MotoGP star's Dakar odyssey Plus

Injury, COVID, camels and redemption: A MotoGP star's Dakar odyssey

Danilo Petrucci’s decision to switch to rallying at the conclusion of his time in MotoGP at the end of 2021 raised many eyebrows. Deciding to make his rally raid debut at the Dakar courted scepticism. With his debut almost over on several occasions before it began, Petrucci’s Dakar odyssey was a wild affair full of ups, downs and a run-in with a camel. He sat down with Autosport to reveal all

MotoGP
Jan 25, 2022
Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken one Honda MotoGP ace's resolve Plus

Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken one Honda MotoGP ace's resolve

Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve

MotoGP
Jan 17, 2022
The Drive to Survive mistakes MotoGP must avoid in 2022 Plus

The Drive to Survive mistakes MotoGP must avoid in 2022

OPINION: MotoGP will get its own Drive to Survive-style series in 2022, airing on Amazon Prime Video. It’s a much-needed grab at the mainstream for MotoGP, but a paradigm shift in the series highlighted by one of its leading stars must be embraced and not overshadowed by a desire to replicate DTS’s popcorn drama

MotoGP
Jan 10, 2022
Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP Plus

Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP

Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars

MotoGP
Jan 4, 2022
How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022 Plus

How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022

That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021

Eight different riders won races across an ultra-competitive 2021 MotoGP season. Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and the world championship's returning king. Autosport picks out the year's 10 best riders

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2021
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Plus

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

MotoGP
Dec 7, 2021