Valentino Rossi News
Following a private test at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, the newest venue on the MotoGP schedule, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi took a detour on his way home to Italy.
The nine-time World Champion, who joined Yamaha following two sour years with the Ducati Team, flew Friday into Sao Paulo, Brazil, as a guest of Yamaha Motor Brazil (YMDB).
To please fans and the staff of YMDB, Rossi donned a Brazilian football shirt with his number 46. Following a meet and greet with the employees and YMDB President Shigeo Hayakawa, Rossi attended a Brazilian media conference and participated in a photo shoot for the launch of the new Factor Second Generation 125cc motorcycle.
Rossi then took a helicopter ride from Sao Paulo to Citta Velo circuit, where he piloted a Yamaha YZF-R1 with a group of 300 selected local Yamaha dealers and customers.
Following his delivery of some MotoGP flavor, Rossi now flies back to Brazil to prep for the European launch of the Yamaha Factory Racing team with teammate Jorge Lorenzo. The launch will occur March 22, followed by another three-day round of official MotoGP testing at Jerez in Spain.
Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP) says: “It’s a great pleasure to be back in Brazil after so many years. I still have good memories of the GPs I rode here. Brazilians are really special and their passion and enthusiasm is contagious! They also managed to make me dance Samba in public! I would like to thank President Hayakawa and Yamaha Motor Brazil for their invitation.
“I was happy to take the occasion of the test in Austin to come here to promote Yamaha and the new Factor 125cc, which YMDB is betting a lot on to give a further push to their business. I am really looking forward to coming here again soon, hopefully for a MotoGP race! Brazilians deserve a race here, as their passion for MotoGP is without equal!
“Now I will just have time to drink a coffee at home and then I will be heading to Jerez for the final winter test. The test in Austin was bitter-sweet for us and I am looking forward to testing in Jerez to confirm the positives we have found so far and to try to improve in the areas where we are still struggling.”
Shigeo Hayakawa (President, Yamaha Motor do Brazil) says: “Firstly I would like to thank Valentino and Yamaha Factory Racing for coming to Brazil to join our event and product launch. I was so surprised to find so many fanatic fans of Valentino, especially as he has not come to Brazil for 10 years. He visited our office and joined me in the canteen and, although I knew him, I was again very surprised to see how “easy” he was.
“Brazil is now in its second stage of its motorcycle culture and our sales will be positively affected by Valentino’s visit. I hope that Valentino will open further that business-door for Yamaha. I truly hope that MotoGP will come to Brazil because Brazilian fans and media are so fanatic for the Championship! And I hope to see Valentino and Yamaha Factory Racing here again very soon!”