Valentino Rossi is eager to swap helmets with Lando Norris in the near future, calling it “an honour” to see the tribute design used by the Formula 1 driver race at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend.

Norris paid homage to his racing hero by styling his helmet and race boots around the designs used by Rossi throughout his MotoGP career, receiving approval from the nine-time world champion to do so.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s MotoGP round at Misano, Rossi said he was “very happy” and “very proud” to see Norris race with his designs, having met the McLaren F1 driver at Silverstone last month.

“For me, it is an honour, because at the beginning of the season, arrived new drivers like Lando and also [Alexander] Albon,” Rossi said.

“They said that growing up, they followed MotoGP and they followed me, so they are my fans. And it’s something good. I like the feeling.

“Lando did a great job, so it was a great pleasure, yes. Now we [will] swap the helmets as soon as possible.

“I met Lando at Silverstone, and he’s a very good guy. He’s very young, he’s 19. But he’s already very clever and looks like he’s got a lot more experience than his age.

“So I’m also his fan.”

Norris had considered picking #46 as his permanent race number in F1 to pay tribute to Rossi, but opted against doing so, running #4 instead.

The Monza weekend marked his first true tribute to The Doctor as he complemented his helmet and race boots with some Rossi merchandise he picked up at Silverstone.

“It’s been very enjoyable for me, I’ve loved it, especially having the Rossi-related helmet and boots and so on,” Norris told Crash.net.

“I had a lot of fun. That’s all that matters.”

 

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