After a stunning race at the TT Assen Circuit yesterday, where Valentino Rossi won his third race this season, the 111th in his career, starting from pole position, today the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider made his first ever appearance at the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed, which carried a theme of nostalgia and pride in the growing interest in motorsport, as Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. took the occasion to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
The nine-time World Champion was specially invited by Lord March to make his debut at this famous event as a guest star. Rossi travelled straight from the Dutch GP to the UK to be able to attend the event, where he revealed his Yamaha YZR-M1, equipped with a special livery, in Yamaha’s display area in the F1 Paddock. The yellow and retro styled bike commemorates Yamaha Motor’s 60th anniversary and the ceremony was completed by motorsport legends Kenny Roberts, Giacomo Agostini and Phil Read taking part in this celebration of Yamaha’s supreme racing heritage.
Rossi’s yellow bike was in good company at the Yamaha exhibition; other iconic show bikes on display were Phil Read’s 1965 RD56, Giacomo Agostini’s 1975 YZR500 OW23 and Kenny Roberts’s 1978 YZR750 OW31.
The unveiling of Rossi’s bike was followed by the Doctor delighting thousands of spectators when he rode up and down the 1.16-mile Hillclimb on the yellow liveried bike, very similar to the one he and Colin Edwards sported ten years ago when they marked Yamaha’s 50th anniversary at the Raceway Laguna Seca with a double podium.
Rossi said: “It’s been an incredible weekend. I was barely off the podium before immediately heading to the United Kingdom, but I’m very happy that I got to attend the Festival of Speed at Goodwood, it has been a real pleasure! I knew about the event because I saw videos of it, but I had never been there before and it’s even more impressive than I imagined. It is a very large venue and there were many fans but also lots of famous riders, drivers and other VIPs which gave it a great atmosphere, especially when I rode my Yamaha YZR-M1 up and down the hill.
“I revealed my bike’s special Yamaha Motor 60th anniversary livery earlier this morning together with Giacomo and Kenny. For Yamaha Motor to be a part of motorsport history for so long and to have achieved so many accomplishments is very special and something to be proud of. At the end of the day I also got to drive a historic Le Mans car and also a rally car, which was great fun as well. I want to say a big thank you to Lord March for inviting and hosting me at this year’s event. I had a great time and made memories I will never forget!”