Profound petrol-head and charismatic MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi hit the big 4-0 on 16 February 2019.  He also loves dogs.  Yep, I know and I'm way ahead of you...

 

 

You wheelied into our world on a sea of yellow and transformed motorbike racing.  Brilliant from the get-go, you charmed and enthralled us for twenty six extraordinary years. 

 

We love you because you love to race.  You understand that each bike has a soulAnd win or lose, you always raced fairWe don't recall you ever deliberately and persistently impeding the progress of a rider chasing their 10th World Championship, race after race.  We do fondly remember how magnanimous you were in victory and defeat.  

We watched you race once at Mugello in 2002.  But we rode pillion with you every weekend.  Our Dads had Surtees and Hailwood.  You are our legend.  We enjoyed riding every race with you, until you chose to wave the chequered flag.  What an exhilarating ride it has been.  And what a legacy.

 

We'll miss you, you old GOAT.  You made A Great Race.  Grazie!  Vie Vale!

Vale - Have you ever considered owning a Glen of Imaal terrier? Love Jo #1 Tifosa | HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY 🏁

Dear Vale

With love

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Rossi at Catalunya 2016 | Image: Vladimir Rys Photography | Getty Images