Profound petrol-head and charismatic MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi hit the big 4-0 on 16 February 2019. He hung up his racing leathers in November 2021.
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 soul. And win or lose, you always raced fair. We don't recall you ever deliberately and needlessly impeding the progress of a rider chasing their 10th World Championship, race after race, when you were not in the hunt for a title yourself.
We do fondly remember how magnanimous you were in both 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 living legend. We enjoyed riding every race with you, until you chose to wave the chequered flag. What a phenomenal, exhilarating ride it has been. And what a legacy.
We'll miss you, you old GOAT. You Made A Great Race. Che spettacolo! Grazie mille! Vie Vale!