Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi returned to Brazil on Tuesday, exactly one year after his last visit, to bring a little MotoGP magic back to South America. The nine-time world champion was determined to make his one-day stop count and completed a hectic schedule from the moment he touched down in Sao Paulo at 4.30am.
Valentino was met at the airport by a special delegation from Yamaha Motor de Brazil before being escorted to his hotel. After a chance to freshen up, MotoGP’s biggest hero got straight to work, enjoying his first interview of the day with Playboy magazine to talk about racing, Yamaha and in particular the new T-Max scooter. A quick signing session followed then it was time for the next activity.
Valentino was transported to Fazenda Capuava, a beautiful private racetrack situated in the middle of the Brazilian countryside for a very special ride out. He was joined on the track by two other superstars, TV Globo’s Leandro Mello and the legendary footballer Cafù. Cafù is the most internationally capped Brazilian player ever and the only player ever to have appeared in three World Cup finals, having won two, in 1994 and 2002.
The three stars hit the track together on Yamaha YZF-R1s for some high-speed fun before swapping the superbikes for a football for a quick game of soccer. There was no rest for Valentino as he then left behind his footballing friends to join another Brazilian legend, Alex Barros for an interview for Brazilian TV’s Linha de Chegada show. Alexandre is Brazil’s greatest international motorcyclist, a multiple national champion and a veteran of Grand Prix racing.
After a quick break for lunch the Doctor was straight back to work, firstly with another TV interview, this time with TV Globo’s MotoGP SporTV Channel and then secondly a group interview with 16 selected journalists
There was just time to return to the hotel for a signing session and a meet & greet with selected Yamaha dealers and winners of a social contest then it was time to head to the airport and catch a flight for Austin, Texas!
"Coming to Brazil is always special and I always get surprised by the fans and their passion for me and for MotoGP," said Rossi. "Today I enjoyed a lot all events, I had fun and it was a nice way to have some rest and fun before heading to Austin. Meeting Cafù was a surprise. I had a lot of fun with him on track on our R1s although later he had more fun when we played soccer. He is still strong, even stronger than me! My special thanks today go to Yamaha Motor de Brazil for arranging another unforgettable event and to all the Yamaha dealers, customers and fans who followed me from this early morning, when we arrived, to late evening when we left. I look forward to coming to Brazil again next year and meeting all my fans on track, on the occasion of the Brazilian GP."
Kouichi Tsuji, YMC Motorsport Development Division, General Manager, commented: "It’s Valentino’s second time in Brazil for promotional purposes and the passion and the warmth from the fans is even bigger than it was last year. My special thanks go to Yamaha Motor de Brazil for arranging such a big event and for welcoming our MotoGP star Valentino Rossi in such big style. Today’s activities Valentino was involved with, joined by TV Globo, Cafù, Alex Barros and hundreds of fans will definitely give a strong boost to YMDB business. These type of events are part of Yamaha’s DNA and are made even more worthy by the depth of our riders, Valentino and Jorge, who have thousands of fans around the world. Yamaha’s core objective and mission is of course to develop new technologies but we have a duty to share our properties with the market and with our customers, that’s why events like today’s are invaluable. Finally, I would like to thank both Valentino and Jorge for making themselves available to make their Austin trip a little longer, visiting Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Latin-American countries will never forget this year’s events and hopefully we’ll be back next year."