Three time British Superbike champion, ex-500cc Grand Prix rider and British racing legend Niall Mackenzie is urging fans to “enjoy Valentino Rossi” at this year’s British MotoGP™ – because the opportunities to see ‘The Doctor’ race in the UK are rapidly running out.
Mackenzie makes no apology for classing Rossi as his “all-time favourite rider” – and since retiring himself (the 55-year old Scottish rider’s last competitive race was in 2003) he has kept a keen interest in motorcycle racing. He annually attends the British Motorcycle Grand Prix – an event he first visited in 1983.
Whilst Mackenzie hopes for a British winner at Silverstone this August Bank Holiday (and there will be four British riders on the 2017 MotoGP™ grid – Cal Crutchlow, Sam Lowes, Scott Redding and Bradley Smith), he urges British fans to come to watch Rossi race in, what might be, his penultimate British MotoGP™ appearance.
“If there is one thing I would say to the crowd at the British Motorcycle Grand Prix it’s enjoy Valentino Rossi,” says Mackenzie. “He’s not going to be around forever now, couple of years max. He’s my all-time favourite rider, he’s an absolute hero. He’s still around, enjoy every lap, every moment you see him there. There is going to be plenty more British Grand Prix, but there’s not going to be loads more with Valentino Rossi in them, so enjoy the spectacle of seeing him ride his bike.”
Rossi fans are already responding to the threat of “VREXIT” with ticket sales for the VR46 fanstand at this year’s event breaking all previous records; 500 more seats have already been allocated to cope with the continued extra demand and there’s no sign of the uptake slowing down as Rossi’s solid start to the season unfolds.
Ardent fans of the most successful rider in British GP history (eight wins across all classes) will hope the two podium-placed finishes in this seasons opening races feed his appetite to race beyond 2018. Rossi’s contract with the Movistar Yamaha Team only runs until the end of next season, meaning just two more appearances at the British Grand Prix is a possibility.
You can hear the full interview with Niall Mackenzie – which is the first in a great series of #britishmotogpmemories celebrity interviews – on https://www.youtube.com/BritishMotoGPofficial
This year’s British MotoGP™ promises to be a fantastic four-day Bike Festival, with on-track action from MotoGP™, Moto2 and Moto3 and fantastic off-track entertainment, including a Grand Prix Village, where live bands will be performing on stage, interactive displays, motorbike exhibitions, fabulous food outlets and a giant funfair.
2017 British MotoGP™ tickets are on sale at: silverstone.co.uk