Two MotoGP greats made a visit to a legendary event this past weekend, as reigning premier class World Champion Valentino Rossi and racing legend Giacomo Agostini made a pilgrimage to the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy.
The two Italian stars watched the event’s Superbike race at the ‘Ago’s Leap’ section of the sweeping road circuit named after Agostini, and headed onto the podium to present awards to the top trio of John McGuinness, Steve Plater and Guy Martin.
An historic first took place on Monday, as Rossi undertook his first ever lap of the circuit. Joined by Agostini and safety marshalls, he swung his leg over a standard issue Yamaha R1 adorned with his typical cartoonish decoration to experience first hand the feeling of road track riding. Originally scheduled for Saturday, the lap was postponed due to bad weather.
Valentino Rossi Speaks…
"I give big respect to the riders who are competing today. I have always followed the TT and have watched a mountain of DVDs, but watching it live is another thing altogether!" said the Fiat Yamaha rider in conversation with protective gear suppliers Dainese, who organised his attendance at the event.
"The way that these guys pass each other at a high speed is incredible!" said the man renowned for his own daring passes in the premier class.
Dainese held a press conference on riding safety at the Isle of Man TT, during which Rossi talked about the D-Tec airbag system that is being developed with his input.
Also present at the Isle of Man TT was British 125cc star Bradley Smith, the current leader of the lower cylinder category World Championship. He took his own tour of the track by car, in a Jaguar driven by ex-TT entrant Richard ‘Milky’ Quayle.