Events: Valentino Rossi to make Festival of Speed debut this year marking the 60th anniversary of Yamaha Motor Company
March 2015 – The most successful top-class MotoGP racer of all time, Valentino Rossi, will make his UK ‘Festival of Speed’ debut this year to mark the 60th anniversary of the Yamaha Motor Company. Rossi, who rides for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team, has won legions of fans around the world with his relentless riding style that perfectly embodies the 2015 event theme: ‘Flat-Out and Fearless: Racing on the Edge’. The 36-year-old Italian will race at the Dutch TT at Assen on Saturday, 27 June before flying to the UK to tackle the fabled 1.16-mile Hillclimb on his Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike on the Sunday.
‘It will be my first time at Goodwood, but I know this event pretty well,’ he says. ‘I have read so many stories about the Festival and I have also seen many videos. The atmosphere looks gorgeous. ‘This event has the power to gather so many drivers, riders and motorsport VIPs and it is a great opportunity to have fun together. I’ll ride my Yamaha YZR-M1 to celebrate Yamaha Motor’s 60th anniversary but I might also drive a few cars… ‘I would like to thank Lord March for the invitation. I am sure it’s going to be a beautiful day and I look forward to being there!’
Rossi made his grand prix debut at the age of 16 in 1996 and secured titles in both the 125cc and 250cc World Championships before moving into the premier MotoGP class – then for 500cc motorcycles – in 2000. Since then he has re-written almost every statistic in the premier class. His 83 race victories and 60 pole positions are all-time records, while his seven World Championships – including five in a row from 2001-05 – mark him out as the greatest grand prix rider of his generation. He joins a superb line-up of motorcycle racers past and present that also includes grand prix world champions John Surtees, Jim Redman, Giacomo Agostini, Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer and Casey Stoner, trials legend Sammy Miller and current Superbike ace Leon Haslam.