Following on from the week’s private test at Circuit of the Americas, Valentino Rossi headed directly from Austin to Brazil for PR commitments. On Saturday, under the watchful eyes of 300 people, the nine-time World Champion rode a Yamaha R1 at the Velo Citta Circuit.
The nine-time MotoGP World Champion delighted employees of Yamaha Brazil in Sao Paulo yesterday, dressed in a one-off Brazilian football shirt with the number "46", the MotoGP star made a personal visit to spend time with them and enjoy a meet and greet with YMDB President Shigeo Hayakawa.
Rossi went on to star in a photo-shoot to launch the new Factor Second Generation 125cc bike before attending a press conference for the eager Brazilian media.
This morning saw the Yamaha rider take a helicopter ride from downtown Sao Paulo to the CittÃ Velo circuit where he rode the latest generation Yamaha YZF-R1 with a group of 300 selected local Yamaha dealers and customers.
“It’s a great pleasure to be back in Brazil after so many years. I still have good memories of the GPs I rode here. Brazilians are really special and their passion and enthusiasm is contagious!" said Rossi. “They also managed to make me dance Samba in public! I would like to thank President Hayakawa and Yamaha Motor Brazil for their invitation. I was happy to take the occasion of the test in Austin to come here to promote Yamaha and the new Factor 125cc, which YMDB is betting a lot on to give a further push to their business."
“I am really looking forward to coming here again soon, hopefully for a MotoGP race! Brazilians deserve a race here, as their passion for MotoGP is without equal! Now I will just have time to drink a coffee at home and then I will be heading to Jerez for the final winter test. The test in Austin was bitter-sweet for us and I am looking forward to testing in Jerez to confirm the positives we have found so far and to try to improve in the areas where we are still struggling."