Valentino Rossi rode his final MotoGP race in Valencia on Sunday and tributes poured in from a host sporting icons and celebrities to the only rider to win titles in the 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP categories.
Rossi is widely considered one of the greatest and most charismatic riders in MotoGP history and has won supporters outside of motorsports.
Roger Federer said "You’ve been an inspiration for me” in a video tribute to the 42-year-old, while Rafael Nadal and seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton also congratulated Rossi on a remarkable career.
Motorcycling
Rossi announces decision to retire at end of season
05/08/2021 AT 14:45
Other tributes also came in from Hamilton's F1 rival Max Verstappen and footballers Gianluigi Buffon and Ronaldo Nazario. Film stars Tom Cruise, Chris Hemsworth and Keanu Reeves also sent in video messages to the Italian.
Rossi's former protege Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati), a product of Rossi’s VR46 riders academy, won the season-ending race.
Afterwards he said: "This race victory is a present to Valentino. I want to dedicate this race to him and thank him for what he has done for us at the academy."
On the race itself, Bagnaia added: "Before this weekend, I didn’t think it was possible [to win]. But we arrived here as one of the fastest teams. It’s the best way to finish."
Motorcycling
Valentino Rossi tests positive for Covid-19
15/10/2020 AT 17:16
Motorcycling
Quartararo wins Catalunya MotoGP to reclaim championship lead
27/09/2020 AT 14:51