Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi has done pretty much everything in his illustrious career and that now includes competing in a Virtual MotoGP™ Race after The Doctor made his debut in the last #StayAtHomeGP. However, we won't see the number 46 lining up on the grid this Sunday at the Circuito de Jerez - Angel Nieto after allowing teammate Maverick Viñales to be the sole factory Yamaha competitor. Why? Well because Rossi quite simply says "he is much more competitive" than the 41-year-old.
Who would argue against the Italian too with Viñales being a regular front runner in both Virtual Race one and two. The Spaniard took third place at Mugello in the opening race and very nearly clinched victory at the Red Bull Ring two weeks later, only to be beaten by Pramac Racing's Francesco Bagnaia in a thrilling final lap. So with a third and second place on his record already, can Top Gun go one better at the Red Bull Virtual Grand Prix of Spain on Sunday and take victory?
Rossi, meanwhile, will no doubt be cheering on his teammate from home after making the decision to allow the number 12 to step forward: "Just Maverick will ride in the Virtual Grand Prix because we had to choose only one person as the team can only have one competitor. So, I said it’s better to have Maverick as he is much more competitive than me."
"I enjoyed it very much," said the nine-time World Champion, reflecting on his virtual debut. "It was good! I’m not very fast on the game because I am old. I grew up with the PlayStation after my mother gave me it, so I’ve played from when I was very young. But normally I play with cars. So, I’m not that competitive on MotoGP. I did some training the week before though and honestly, I enjoyed it so much. The top guys like Pecco and Maverick are so fast but I had good fun, especially my battle with Petrucci until the last corner. I was on the limit definitely; I was a little bit over the limit but we’re still friends.
Meanwhile, the Red Bull Virtual Grand Prix of Spain will see riders from Moto2™ and Moto3™ compete for the first time too. So, are there any hidden gems in the VR46 Riders Academy ranks that we should know of before the intermediate and lightweight classes take centre stage? Rossi says there's two names you should keep your eye on: "Pecco is the fastest but my brother [Sky Racing Team VR46's Luca Marini] is also not too bad. But Pecco is really fast!"
Although The Doctor might not be on the grid, this Sunday's Red Bull Virtual Grand Prix of Spain is definitely not to be missed. Three classes and, therefore, three races equals three times for you to enjoy on Sunday May 3rd at 3pm (GMT+2). Watch it live on motogp.com or MotoGP's YouTube or Twitter, plus it's absolutely free!