Freddie Spencer on Rossi, his injury and predicting his return
With Valentino Rossi recently being cleared for a return to racing, we thought it prudent to post an excerpt from our chat with seasoned pro-rider Freddie Spencer on the multiple MotoGP World Champion and pro road-racer's imminent return to form.
“It’s events like these that allowed a kid from Louisiana, like me, to see what I loved, and gave me a chance to experience motorsport. That’s how I ended up getting to the World Championships, and that’s how I eventually started winning them. I see all the incredible equipment, but I see what it really gives to the community, and that’s why I love coming to Goodwood.”
That Louisiana kid that Freddie so fondly reminisces about, began his love affair with motorcycles by riding dirt bikes for fun near his hometown at the age of four. Today, in 2017 the motorcycling community is reeling from the news that 2017 championship hopeful Valentino Rossi has broken his leg riding a similar dirt bike for his own kicks.
During one of the most exciting seasons in recent history, Rossi was a serious contender to build on his staggering nine World Championships. Freddie feels sympathy for the Italian rider and shares some interesting insights into the accident.
“He knows riding the dirt bike, and going out there just having fun, is one of the reasons why he’s still out there doing this at 38 years old. It’s unfortunate, and no-one feels worse than him. I think his performance at Silverstone, even though he didn’t win, he was there to the last lap and I think that really re-invigorated him. He was looking forward to the last few races and his home race.”
Interestingly, Freddie feels that the circumstances of the unfortunate accident are one of Rossi’s strengths.
“He’s such a professional and understands himself so well. That’s one of the reasons he loves dirt biking. We talked about it a couple years ago. He knows what the Americans did in the late ’70s and ’80s. Riding those bikes refines your bike strength and understanding the movements, he knows how important that kind of training is. I think he will bounce back to the top, for sure he’s going to give it his best shot.”