The first in the motorsports scene, Italian MotoGP World Champion star Valentino Rossi has recently visited the Philippines to show support to those affected by the Typhoon Yolanda by raising funds for the charity effort with the help of Yamaha Motor Philippines Inc.
Rossi is in the country to promote the Yamaha’s efforts through the “Champions Rebuild Lives” to raise funds by selling limited racing items to collectors, MotoGP and motorbike fans donated by the MotoGP team.
According to Rossi—who was warmly greeted by hundreds of fans at the press briefing area—said that he is eyeing to help the Filipinos through the said project.
“Maybe we could make a small help and give hand to them,” Rossi said, as the crowd kept on cheering for the nine-time GP World Championship titleholder.
Aside from Rossi, the charity effort was made possible with the support from Yamaha Motor Company Ltd., Yamaha Motor Racing, Moto GP and YMPH.
Rossi was very elated with how he was welcomed by fans. According to him, Filipino fans are within the top five supporters in terms of how they show warmth. “Near the podium,” he said, smiling and waving at the fans.
After the briefing, Rossi made his way to the crowd, signing all the things that he has been given, from caps to bags and even shirts.
He also commended the Filipino motorcycle riders at the Yamaha sports, saying that the “passion is growing in the country.” On skills, he said that they, in the Yamaha racing team, “needs Filipino drivers.”
YGP 5 OPENING
Aside from that, the 46 year old Rossi has personally launched last February 23 the opening leg of Yamaha GP 5 which was held at SM City Santa Rosa, which was graced by Yamaha Motor Philippines Inc.’s President Toru Osugi, Sales General Manager Romeo Tan, Corporate Support/Corporate Services/Logistics General Manager Alfredo Lejano and Marketing Section Manager Ryan Jude Camus.
After the brief discussion, Rossi went out and greeted the YGP 5 participants, changed to his racing suit and rode around the track for some laps, signalling the opening of the event.
Further, the “Doctor”—which he fondly called—also thanked everyone who has supported Yamaha’s charity effort.
Being back to his previous team (Yamaha) before joining Ducati, Rossi said during the briefing said that he is eyeing for more wins, saying that he got no positive results with previous team, which is Ducati.
“I was very proud to go back to Yamaha after two seasons without any positive results with Ducati,” Rossi said. “We are a very strong team. And for me, I will try to win more races and try to stay on top,” he added.
Asked if he would be retiring soon, he said that he is eyeing for three more seasons before discussing with his girlfriend on making a family.
Based on an interview made by motogp.com dated September 12, 2012, Rossi was quoted as saying that the experience with Ducati “was very difficult already from the start.” “And unfortunately we were not able to fix our problem during this year and a half, and I was never competitive with this bike,” he said that time.
Valentino followed the footsteps of his father, Graziano, in the motorsports scene. He started his career in 1996 at Grand Prix for Aprilia in the 125cc category and won his first World Championship the year after. RUBEN D. MANAHAN 4TH