Che Spettacolo: What a show
By Jake Palmer
Valentino Rossi’s remarkable career came to an end on the 14th of November 2021. Which incredibly if you add up everything together fourteen plus 11 plus 21 equals 46 so it was meant to be.
On the day he had one of his best rides finishing inside the top 10 which was his goal going into the weekend not bad for a forty two year old, but more importantly which capped the day off graduate of the VR 46 Academy Peco Bagnaia won the race which shows Italian motorsport is in good hands, even though Rossi can never be replaced.
When looking back down the years of his career there have been plenty of highs and lows for example, becoming the first rider to win the world championship on an independent bike. Where he came up against his first big rival fellow Italian Max Biaggi. They had many fierce battles and it was Rossi who came out on top. This earned him the opportunity to move up to the Repsol Honda factory team where again dominated from 2002 till 2003.
In the second half of the season he decided to sign for struggling Yamaha factory team only if people knew at the time how this move would pay off given how much success he had with the team.
He decided for this move because Rossi wanted to prove he made the difference when it came to his success and he went to Yamaha and proved this. In the first race of the 2004 season first race for his new team he became the first rider in history to win on two different bikes to again prove he is one of the best ever. As the season progressed he proved he made the difference and won the world championship for Yamaha which many people doubted was possible. In many people’s opinions this was what sealed Rossi’s legacy.
In 2005 was the start of another rivalry this time with Gibernau who clashed at Jerez going into the final corner. Overall it was Rossi who again came out on top to win his second title with Yamaha.
2006 and 2007 didn’t go so well for the Doctor as he lost out to Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner. He had many battles with Casey stoner who he has mentioned as one of hardest opponents he has ever raced against.
In 2008 and 2009 he again rediscovered his form as Yamaha gave him the bike able to compete for the wins on a consistent basis which enabled him to win the titles in 2008 and 2009 which proved to be his last title win to make him a nine time World Champion. The 2009 season was very important one as Yamaha made youngster Jorge Lorenzo Rossi’s team mate. This didn’t go too well at the beginning as both were fighting at the front and even built a wall in between the garage. The catalunya Grand Prix will live long in MotoGP history as Rossi managed to pass Jorge on the last lap in a place many people thought was impossible to pass but Rossi invented something.
In 2010 he confirmed that the 2010 season would be his last for Yamaha he would be moving to Ducati for the 2011 2012 seasons. His last season didn’t go to plan and ended up missing parts of the season due to injuries suffered while participating in motocross at his ranch.
His time at Ducati was a failure for many different reasons and at the end of the 2012 season he confirmed he was going back to his beloved Yamaha. He still believed he could fight for the race win and possibly the Championship.
Rossi again didn’t have the best season but he would taste victory again something him and his many fans around the world had been craving for. In this season as well he came up against someone who he would clash with in the future the rookie at this time Marc Marquez who was crowned World Champion.
Again in 2014 he didn’t have the best season as he finished behind both Repsol Honda’s in the world championship as Marc Marquez won the title for the second time in a row and people started comparing the two in terms of achievement.
In 2015 this was probably his last season where he feels he was able to compete at his top level as he narrowly finished second in the championship behind his team mate Lorenzo which Rossi called a Spanish stitch up as Marquez stayed behind Lorenzo the whole race even though he could have passed him. In the last race the nine time World Champion had to start at the back of the grid because of an incident involving him and Marquez at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.
Many people as you would expect called him their peoples champion and that he could be proud of his achievements. The Incident between Marc and Valentino has ruined their friendship at the present time.
The Following seasons up until the very last one not much success came the way of Rossi with many people believing he should have retired while he was at the top of his game. The was difference about Vale was he just loved to Race and decided to stop when he was ready not just because someone told him it was time to Retire.