Stories of 500 Motorcycle Grand Prix: “Valentino Rossi stroked my head and I didn’t wash it for a week”

  • Jorge Martín, ‘rookie’ of 2021, remembers the day he met the ‘Doctor’ in Cheste at the age of 8 when he chose his most magical moment of the 500 races

  • “I decided that I wanted to be a rider when, at the age of 6, I saw, in Jerez, the vibrant duel between Valentino and Sete”, admits Fabio Quartararo, MotoGP champion

fate has wanted it to be Austin, Texas, United Statesa whole motor microworld, the stage where MotoGPhand in hand with the company dornaled by the Spanish Carmelo Ezpeletacelebrate your 500th grand prize. And celebrate it with two Spanish leaders, Sergio Garcia Dols (GasGas)one of the youngest riders in the ‘paddock’, in Moto3 and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia)one of the oldest pilots, in the highest category.

And everyone, everyone, proud that, hand in hand with Dorna, which has taken the championship to its highest audience ratings and, above all, to television spectacularity, entering 500 million homes every weekend, the “great family of the two wheels & rdquor ;, like the Portuguese Jorge Viegaspresident of the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM)calls the World Cup, has managed to progress with an intimate and fruitful collaboration and complicity with the drivers, the factories, grouped in the MSMA, and the teams (IRTA).

a planetary world cup

The motorcycle world championshipwhich is one of the oldest competitions in existence (it started in 1949), has visited, in the ‘MotoGP era’, a whopping 45 world circuits in 23 different countriesgetting that 55 different drivers from 12 different nations achieve at least one victory in their contest. “We have all made a great effort to modernize and, above all, provide the maximum possible safety to our championship and, in this sense, we must especially thank the riders for their dedication and help when making decisions. most suitable for making a better World Cup every day. I don’t know what other sports will do but, in this World Cup, a decision is not made without first consulting with the drivers, who are the great protagonists of this sport”, Ezpeleta told El Periódico.

And the riders are, without a doubt, the first ones to remember during these days some of those great prizes, some of those impressive and memorable races, which have, in effect, turned motorcycling into one of the most spectacular and followed sports of the moment. “I, for example & rdquor ;, explains Aleix Espargarowinner, after 284 attempts, of his first GP, last Sunday, in Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina), “I will never forget when my father took me to a race in Montmeló to see my idol run Alex Criville. And I won’t be able to forget it because Àlex went down in the first corner! I spent the whole morning crying & rdquor ;.

Jorge Martin (Ducati), another of the great protagonists of the new era of MotoGP, ‘rookie’ last year and already protagonist of the first races of this 2022, will not forget the first day that, at only 8 years old, he was able to enter the ‘paddock’ of Cheste (Valencia). “How can I forget it! That day I met valentino rossi, who greeted me and patted my head with his right hand. I went a week without washing my head! It was an unforgettable moment and, I won’t even tell you, I ended up competing against him on the track & rdquor ;.

unforgettable races

Also, also, French Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), the brand-new current MotoGP world champion, remembers that “tremendous!” Jerez-2005 race when, at just 6 years old, “I realized that I wanted to be a rider, that I had to do everything possible and impossible to end up being a rider when I saw that vibrant pulse”. And the fact is that the ‘Devil’ speaks of one of the most exciting events in history, that duel between valentine and Sete Gibernau, which ended with the victory of the ‘Doctor’ after an unorthodox overtaking in the left-hand hairpin at the Andalusian circuit’s finish line. “Yes, that continues to be my favorite race….as a spectator”.

“I don’t know what the other sports do, but we always have the opinion of the drivers, who are the main protagonists”

Carmelo Ezpeleta / Head of the World Cup

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For Marc Márquezeight times world champion and who reappears this weekend, again, after overcoming his fourth episode of diplopia in Austin, where he has won seven of the eight races he has run, the unforgettable GP was “the one they starred in, also in another great duel valentine and Jorge Lorenzo, in Montmeló, in 2009, curiously when I, at the age of 16, was already in the World Cup. Valentino won in another spectacular overtaking but I, now, could repeat, curve by curve, that grand prix, I know it by heart & rdquor ;.

This weekend’s celebration, whose ‘hashtag’ is #Racing together“is the living reflection & rdquor ;, according to STefan Pierer, soul of the KTM firm and head of the motorcycle manufacturers association, “that the innovations and the best through this journey have been possible thanks to the collective work and group vision. All manufacturers, teams, sponsors and drivers compete to win, but there is a strong feeling that the millions of people who follow and enjoy the championship also ‘win’. We are looking forward to the next 500 GPs & rdquor ;.

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