Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi returned to Brazil today, 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 this morning.
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!