Column: Enjoying MotoGP Without Valentino Rossi, Is It Still Interesting?


Even the most beautiful love stories sometimes have to end. Valentino Rossi and MotoGP finally said goodbye to each other. An era has ended. In front of a sea of ​​spectators wearing yellow attributes in the stands of the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, Valencia, Sunday (11/15/2021), The Doctor strolled through his last race in MotoGP.

Rossi finished in 10th position. After all , any position is not too important. The race belongs to Valentino Rossi completely. All eyes on the circuit and millions more in front of the television were on him.

After completing his “final dance”, Rossi rode his motorbike around the Ricardo Tormo track. The Italian rider received an overwhelming and emotional response from the 76,226 spectators who packed the stands. The sky also seems to want to participate by showing its beautiful blue color. The applause boomed, not a few eyes were wet with tears.

He completed his adventure in the grand prix event with a score of 26 years, 432 appearances, 115 wins, 235 podiums and 65 poles. The most phenomenal racer in MotoGP history finally closed his career book when he was 42 years old. It’s a very long journey.

When the Valencia MotoGP race was only a few laps away, I sent a message to a friend. He is an avid fan who adores Rossi, never getting tired of being happy or sad with The Doctor since 2000. He is always filled with enthusiasm when waiting for MotoGP races on weekends even though during the last two years it is very rare to see Rossi on the podium, to be precise only once when finishing third. at the MotoGP Jerez 2020.

I’m curious to ask how he feels watching Valentino Rossi’s last dance , whether he will still be enthusiastic about waiting for the MotoGP race every week after Rossi retires, because I know he is also happy to follow the progress of The Doctor’s students.

“It will definitely feel strange. Even if you watch the MotoGP race later, you will no longer feel nervous, hot and cold. Yes, like watching Moto2 or Moto3 races.”

Our conversation via text message continued while watching the race. He can still laugh and joke. However, when Valentino Rossi crossed the finish line, an emotional feeling swept over him.

Irreplaceable Phenomenon
I’m sure he’s not the only one who will feel bland when he realizes the fact that he will watch MotoGP next season without the presence of Valentino Rossi . Over the years Rossi has become a MotoGP icon. There is no racer like him, maybe he will never appear again in the future.

The BBC says in 26 years Rossi has become a global phenomenon, transcending MotoGP itself and, sucking millions of people into becoming MotoGP fans.

MotoGP commentator, Nick Harris, summarizes Rossi’s position in MotoGP in one sentence that feels right. Rossi was someone who changed the sport of motor racing and took it where it had never been before.

In fact, he may be the most unique.

“He’s different from anything we’ve seen before,” Harris told BBC Sport .

It’s incredible,” added Harris.

The BBC’s claim that Rossi’s big name surpasses MotoGP is hard to refute. Whoever you support in MotoGP, it’s impossible to ignore Rossi’s presence. In fact, for many ordinary people, Rossi is the only racer they know. It’s not hard to find Rossi’s t-shirts worn by people all over the world.

Rossi’s hometown of Tavullia became a place of “holy pilgrimage” for his fans. More than 20,000 people visit Tavullia every year, from across Europe, Asia and South America.

In fact, Hollywood stars can not resist his charm. Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Daniel Day-Lewis are big fans of Rossi.

The big name Valentino Rossi in Indonesia is even phenomenal. He became a great magnet for motorcycle racing lovers, even ordinary people knew him, from various social and age layers.

Not surprisingly, the manufacturer that oversees The Doctor likes to bring him back and forth to Indonesia every year, even though there is no MotoGP series here. His name is a guarantee of selling motorcycles. If you don’t believe me, just ask Honda and Yamaha, the two teams who have felt the Rossi effect.

If you remember, the Indonesians were really hit by the magic of the racer from Tavullia, especially in the heyday of The Doctor. When going to watch MotoGP on television, the words that come out are usually “want to watch Rossi race”. When the race is over, what is often asked is not the winner, but “Rossi finishes where?”. When you see people speeding on the street, they say, “Who is that speeding, is it Valentino Rossi?”.

Such is the picture of Rossi’s great influence for his fans in Indonesia. Many people think Rossi is MotoGP and MotoGP is Rossi.

Imagining MotoGP’s Future Without Rossi
Rossi has always been present in the premier class since the MotoGP brand was created in 2002, replacing the 500cc race. So, it’s natural that many people wonder what the future of MotoGP will be like after the loss of its biggest icon.