Hamilton, Norris and Sainz hail ‘living legend’ Rossi ahead of final · RaceFans

Formula 1 riders praised seven-time motorcycle world champion Valentino Rossi ahead of his final race of the series this weekend.

Rossi’s Moto GP career spanned two decades and 339 races, yielding 115 wins. It will end this weekend in the season finale at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain.

Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton has said the Moto GP rider is arguably the best rider the sport has ever seen.

“It’s obviously sad to see Vale stop, but I think his drive, his approach, everything he’s done has been amazing,” said Hamilton. “The passion he has had for so long has manifested through and [he’s] just such a legend. One of the greatest to have ever done it, if not the greatest to have ever done it.

“So it will just be sad not to watch the races and see him ride in style like he usually does. But I think it’s a good time for him, too, because he has family now, [that] it grows or begins to build.

Hamilton shared the Ricardo Tormo circuit with Rossi for a day in 2019 where they swapped machines: Hamilton sampled Rossi’s Yamaha M1 Moto GP and Rossi drove the 2017 Mercedes W08 F1. “I am grateful to have had the ride. the privilege of sharing a really special day with him on the track, ”added Hamilton. “I will always remember it.”

Lando Norris, born just three years before Rossi’s Moto GP debut, has been a lifelong fan and his helmet design was originally based on Rossi’s. “These are sad times,” said Norris, “I will miss him, I always try to watch as many Moto GP races as possible.

Norris wore a Rossi tribute helmet to Monza in 2019

“This is the guy I looked at when I was four, five, six, got me into the race, got me on a motorcycle first,” said Norris, who wanted to first to become a motorcycle pilot before discovering karting. “He’s the guy I admired, the guy who kind of helped me get to this position where I am, because probably without looking at him my ambition to be a racing driver wouldn’t have been so high. “

Norris said he was “lucky” to have met Rossi at the British Moto GP 2019 round. “I will miss him in Moto GP, I don’t think it’s just me. I think there are millions of fans supporting him and he was going to be missed in the paddock as well.

“And his character, because I think that’s one of the best things about him, is the guy that he is, the character that he is among the people, among the fans, he had to. time for everyone. I think he’s a special guy and he will definitely be missed.

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Valentino Rossi, 2021
Rossi will say goodbye after seven titles and 115 wins

Rossi has also tested Formula 1 Ferrari cars on several occasions and the team were hoping to get him into an F1 race at some point.

Ferrari rider Carlos Sainz Jnr described him as “a living legend of motorsport in general and Moto GP – anyone who follows Moto GP has probably followed him in part thanks to Valentino Rossi.

“He has a bit of history with Ferrari, [testing] and get closer to racing in Formula 1. I’ve heard that now he really enjoys rallying, so I guess we’ll see him do rallies and maybe I can meet him in a rally car, it won’t. wouldn’t bother me.

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