Valentino Rossi NewsIf there had to be one spokesperson chosen for MotoGP, or all of World Championship motorcycle racing, there’s no doubt who would get picked – Valentino Rossi.
Since joining World Championship racing in 1996 (former 125cc class), Rossi took nine world titles, including seven in the premier class. At 34-years old, Rossi is the only rider to have raced in the entire modern MotoGP class.Throughout his racing years, the Italian has helped promote the sport to a worldwide audience through his PR-savvy attitude. Even when the Italian dream team of Rossi and Ducati went sour following two years of un-Rossi-like results, he remained a crowd pleaser.Besides his natural talent, Rossi works hard at promoting the sport. And his compensation reflects this. In the latest Forbes top 10 list for highest-paid people in motorsports, VR46 was fifth on the list, earning a reported $22 million ($10 million salary; $12 million endorsements).Rossi ranked ahead of NASCAR stars Tony Stewart ($18.5million), Jeff Gordon ($18.2 million) and Danica Patrick ($15 million). Topping the Forbest Top 10 list was Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), who earned $28 million ($28 million salary; $2 million endorsements).Rossi has 80 premier-class wins (MotoGP/500cc), and 106 across all World Championship classes. This places him second in the all-time win list behind Giacomo Agostini, who has 122. Rossi, who returned to the factory Yamaha team for 2013 following the Ducati debacle, is currently fourth in MotoGP points with six rounds remaining.Following is Forbes’ Top 10 List, which was compiled from June 2012-June 2013 earnings from salaries, bonuses, endorsements, as well as the drivers’ shares of winnings and licensing.Forbes’ Top 10 People Paid in Motorsports: 1. Fernando Alonso, Formula 1: $30million ($28m salary/$2m endorsements) 2. Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1: $27.5million ($26m salary/$1.5m endorsements) 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR: $26million ($13m salary/$13m endorsements) 4. Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR: $24million ($17.3m salary/$6.7m endorsements) 5. Valentino Rossi, MotoGP: $22million ($12m salary/$10m endorsements) 6. Tony Stewart, NASCAR: $18.5million ($12.5m salary/$6m endorsements) 7. Jeff Gordon, NASCAR: $18.2million ($12.7m salary/$5.5m endorsements) 8. Sebastian Vettel, Formula 1: $18million ($17m salary/$1m endorsements) 9. Danica Patrick, NASCAR: $15million ($6m salary/$9m endorsements) 10. Jenson Button, Formula 1: $14million ($14m salary/$0m endorsements)
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.