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Rossi given M1 at Yamaha HQ celebration

Rossi given M1 at Yamaha HQ celebration

Rossi given M1 at Yamaha HQ celebration

MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi was presented with his title-winning YZR-M1 machine in a memorable trip to Yamaha's head office in Iwata, Japan, on Friday. The Italian was on a visit to the facility to meet the people that supported his 2004 campaign but received a personal ‘thank you' from the company's president Mr. T. Hasegawa with the surprise gift.

The flamboyant Italian arrived at Yamaha Motor Company's Communication Plaza by helicopter and was greeted by the huge applause of management and factory staff upon his arrival.

After receiving a personal message from Mr. T. Hasegawa, Rossi then made a number of appearances throughout the Yamaha complex before participating in the official press conference. It was at that moment that Mr. Hasegawa presented Rossi with a certificate of ownership for a YZR-M1 – the same bike he rode to his sixth world title this season.

"Valentino Rossi is more than the world's best motorcycle racer; he is a personality that is not limited to just the confines of the MotoGP championship," explained Mr. Hasegawa.

"From the moment you work with Rossi you instantly become a fan, and you are naturally driven to give more than 100 percent to support him. It is this very trait, and his ability as a rider that led to him winning the world title in his first year. Because of this skill and personality I am proud to present Valentino with the YZR-M1 as a sign of our appreciation for his efforts this year."

Rossi was clearly taken aback by the offering. "This is the best gift I could wish for," he smiled. "I must say thank you to Yamaha and Mr. Hasegawa for giving me my very own M1 to take home. I'm not sure where I will keep it, maybe next to my bed, or maybe in a safe at a bank!"

The Italian was then taken on a private tour of the Yamaha prototype factory where the components of his YZR-M1 are produced, before attending an official Yamaha championship celebration dinner in his honour in nearby Hamamatsu.

Rossi and Yamaha's Factory Team now head to Malaysia for a test at the Sepang circuit next week, where Rossi will make his second outing aboard the 2005 prototype YZR-M1.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, Valentino Rossi

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