I was about 17 years old when I first noticed my Dad getting upset with the motorcycle racing on Sunday afternoons. At the heart of it was this young Italian rider with crazy hair and a larger than life personality that rocked the motorsport world… and from whom it has never recovered.
MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi shouldn’t need any introduction and I’m not going to recount the drama of “The Doctor”‘s nine world championship titles. What makes him an important icon to me is that he has dedicated his whole life to something that consumes him from the inside out. In a 2008 interview with the Telegraph, Rossi stated:
You need to have this passion from the very beginning. I was lucky. My father raced bikes. He gave me the passion very early. I had my first bike when I was three or four years old.
Rossi turned 38 years old last week (16 February) and after more than 20 years of racing he’s STILL a major contender for the world championship title this year, with his closest rivals being (more than) 10 years younger than him. This speaks to an enviable lifelong persistence – to practise, practise, practise; to relish in the victories and to come back again and again after getting knocked down.
More than anything, Rossi always appears to be having the time of his life. In the highly competitive, life-and-death sport of motorcycle racing, he’s broken the mould with his propensity for fun and antics. He’s set the bar for entertainment on the racing circuit; something that hundreds of thousands of his crazy VR46 fans follow him around the world to experience up close.
My takeaway from having kept an eye on Valentino Rossi’s career, especially in the last few years is this:
- Find your passion.
- Develop the persistence to live your passion to the full. When you fall, get up again. Keep your eye on the prize.
- Have fun, otherwise why do it at all?
With the 2017 MotoGP season almost upon us, I finally got around to completing my tribute VR46 painting – something I’ve had on my Things to Paint list for almost two years. It took around 35 hours from start to finish (quite a bit longer than most of my projects), and while it was ignited by my passion for painting, it certainly required a whole lot of persistence, but I really did have fun painting it 🙂
In this piece, Rossi’s livery is from the 2015 season (now you know how long I’ve wanted to paint it!), with the reference photo shot by legendary MotoGP photographer, Gigi Soldano.
Can’t wait for the Qatar night race that kicks off the 2017 MotoGP season on 26 March… just around the corner!
#IOSTOCONVALE #VR46 #VALEYELLOW46