Valentino Rossi: “Try the maximum but don’t need pole position” with TT icons

“It’s an amazing feeling to share the track with people like John McGuiness, John Hopkins"

Michael Dunlop and Valentino Rossi
Michael Dunlop and Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi has shared his thoughts on sharing Silverstone with an all-star set of riders from different series.

A Monster Energy Legends Day at the home of the British Grand Prix brought together riders from MotoGP, World Superbikes, British Superbikes and the Isle of Man TT.

In attendance were:

  • Valentino Rossi

  • Francesco Bagnaia

  • Franco Morbidelli

  • Marco Bezzecchi

  • Fabio di Giannantonio

  • Alvaro Bautista

  • Nicolo Bulega

  • Jonathan Rea

  • Fabio Quartararo

  • Alex Rins

  • Michael Dunlop

  • Peter Hickman

  • John McGuinness

  • John Hopkin

  • Randy Mamola

  • Darryn Binder

  • Cal Crutchlow

  • Josh Brookes

Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Even Yamaha managing director Lin Jarvis hopped on a bike for a few laps!

“A great idea from Monster,” said Rossi. 

“It’s an amazing feeling to share the track with people like John McGuiness, John Hopkins and the guys from different championships.

“I was worried about the weather. I thought it might be eight degrees and rain but this is fantastic.

“I [always] try to have some time on the bike… because I don’t want to give up. 

"I feel in quite good shape and, also, when you do a [track] day like this then you can push but still have fun because there is a bit of margin.

"You think ‘I’ll try the maximum…but I don’t need the Pole Position’. 

"It’s a great feeling. It’s always difficult because it’s physical – the cars are easier – but it’s always fantastic.”

WSBK legend Rea added: “This is so cool because I never usually get the chance to hang out with peers. 

"I had a good chat with John McGuiness and Michael Dunlop and then sharing the track with GP guys, TT guys, BSB and my peers in Superbike in a really relaxed atmosphere is cool. 

"When you are in the hustle and bustle of a race weekend then you are in your own little bubble worrying about your performance but here you can just enjoy riding a motorbike, hanging out with the crew and be less focused on performance.”

Rea said about the mood in the paddock: “General chit-chat and usually not about racing.

“I mean, catching up with GP guys then you ask them how it’s going and I’m facing a bit of a difficult moment in Superbike and they are also interested. 

"But it’s more normal life stuff though because the last thing athletes usually want to talk about is the day job. It’s pretty relaxed.”

John McGuinness and Randy Mamola
John McGuinness and Randy Mamola

Quartararo said: “It’s about having the chance to be on track with riders that you never usually would.

“It’s been a lot of fun and the first time I’ve ridden an R1 since 2021! It’s a great opportunity to take part in something unique.”

Bagnaia said: “It’s incredible to have this mix of riders. 

“Also, useful! I always struggle a bit with my first laps here at Silverstone and [riding the Panigale] is completely different, but the more you ride where you have to race then it helps.

“It’s a physically demanding circuit because it’s so fast and you have to be very precise with the changes of direction. I love it…but it’s also very tricky!”

Hickman said: “I find the transition from short circuits to the road quite easy but coming back the other way is quite difficult! It’s interesting how differently we see things, view things or feel things.

“Monster are good at looking after their athletes, and then putting us in places and situations we normally wouldn’t be in!

“It’s cool that they can cut across the sports. At the TT recently we met some snowboarders that were there for the first time. Monster are helpful and they make things happen. 

"I actually had no idea of the specifics of this event. I think they deliberately didn’t tell anyone. So, turning up to see Valentino on track, Johnny Rea, Bautista…there are loads. It’s a proper mix which is super-cool.”

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