If there’s anything MotoGP ace Valentino Rossi is known for it’s probably his child-like enthusiasm for racing (and life in general). He always seems as if he’s been racing on a backwoods trail with his buddies all afternoon when you see him in post-race interviews. Tired, but smiling.
After several years languishing at the Factory Ducati team many people thought him washed up. When he moved back to Yamaha and struggled to match pace with his Movistar Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo, suspicions were confirmed. Even when he finished 2nd in the championship last year, people wanted Vale to “give up his seat to someone who deserves it.” Pretty harsh considering the resume Rossi carries. How quickly people forget.
Now we sit at round 13 of 18 with Rossi holding a slight (but growing) lead over teammate Lorenzo. Defending champion Marc Marquez may be a long shot for the championship after several DNF’s, but he is in the fight for race wins and could upturn Rossi’s apple cart at any turn. Given the high-pressure position Rossi is in, he could easily be forgiven for feeling like he is drowning.
But if there’s anything else Rossi is known for it’s his wild helmet designs, and this weekend at Misano he definitely chose an appropriate concept. Head down on the front straight away and you are given the perfect view into Rossi’s thoughts at the moment. Although it’s hard to imagine Rossi as a little fish in the pond (ocean) of MotoGP, it’s no surprise the VR46 is looking to shrug off pressure from behind and just continue having fun on a motorcycle.
Qualifying for Sunday’s race has Marquez, Lorenzo, Rossi, and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa separated by only 4/10 of a second, so it looks like we will have a race on our hands. The new pavement at Misano may break in and increase traction, making set up more of a guessing game than usual.
Swim hard, little fish. Swim hard.
Featured Image: Valentino Rossi with his Special Misano helmet (Photo Credit: MotoGP)