Valentino Rossi has spoken of his shock and sadness at the death of rally legend Colin McRae.
The Scot, who won the 1995 world rally championship, was killed in a helicopter crash yesterday in which three other people, including his young son Johnny, also lost their lives.
The 39-year-old was Rossi’s rallying hero, with the Italian a huge fan of world rally.
McRae gave Rossi advice when he took part in his first world rally event in Britain back in 2002, and the pair raced against other in the past.
With Rossi’s passion for rallying and McRae’s love of motorcycling, the pair struck up an instant rapport.
Fiat Yamaha rider Rossi said: “I am very sad about Colin, he was my favourite rally driver and one of my idols for all of my career.
“I knew him well and we had done some races together. He was great fun and I remember one time being in a car park with him and Graziano in a Subaru just having some fun and making some slides.
“He was a good friend also of Graziano. I think it’s a great loss not just for rally, but for all of motorsport.
“Many people knew him and he was a great talent. He was also a very good motorcycle rider and we would always talk a lot about racing.
”I don’t know what else to say, I am very sad and I will miss him a lot.”
It was only on Thursday that Rossi confirmed his plans to race in the Wales Rally GB at the end of November.