MotoGP legend and 9-time world champion, Valentino Rossi, celebrates his 40th birthday today. Till date, the Italian is still racing and has competed for nearly 24 years. Sometime in his later career, he set up the VR46 Riders Academy and will go up against two of its graduates in the coming season.
To commemorate the milestone of reaching 40 years, the MotoGP Instagram page posted several stories of sports stars from around the world wishing Rossi.
The well-wishers ranged from F1 world champions Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen, tennis stars Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Garbine Muguruza, Football stars Lukas Podolski, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Aguero also dropped in messages for ‘The Doctor’. Even Diego Maradona sent in his wishes along with rally legend Sebastien Loeb and former F1 driver Mark Webber.
Naturally, even a number of MotoGP stars sent in their wishes, like Jorge Lorenzo, newly retired rider Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, teammate Maverick Vinales and several riders from his academy. Yet another well-wisher was Ana Carrasco, the first ever female motorcycle racing champion.
Riders from Rossi’s past like Sete Gibernau, Max Biaggi, Colin Edwards and more joined in as well. Olympic swimmer Federica Pellegrini actually came up with a creative manner to wish the Italian rider.
Rossi is currently preparing for the 2019 MotoGP season and will be hoping to clinch a 10 world championship. But he will have to try and stop Marc Marquez in the process. His job won’t be made any easier as Marquez has a strong teammate in the form of Jorge Lorenzo, Rossi’s former teammate.
It was interesting to note that one of Rossi’s rivals, Marc Marquez did not send any wishes. The two have had some beef between them for a while and don’t normally see eye-to-eye.
You can watch the Instagram stories here.