Hundreds of cheering fans saw Valentino Rossi fulfil a life-long dream last Tuesday, as he rode his MotoGP bike through the streets of his hometown, Tavullia in Italy.
Aboard a full race-spec Yamaha YZR-M1, the Doctor left his VR46 ranch, located just a few kilometres from the town centre, and rode the priceless prototype on treaded tyres along the same winding country roads that he first rode with his friends on their 50cc scooters over 25 years ago.
Nearing the town centre, the smattering of fans that lined the route had grown into a yellow sea of people, each one waving a flag, cheering and chanting his name.
After a brief stop in the town square, the nine-time champ then proceeded on the 240bhp racer to his VR46 headquarters, before heading onwards to the nearby Misano circuit to cut a few laps before parking the M1 in the Yamaha pitbox ready for the start of the San Marino GP.
Reflecting on the event, Rossi said: "It’s a dream come true. When we were young and rode our 50cc scooters, we always dreamed of passing through Tavullia on a MotoGP bike and today that dream became reality. It was a fantastic moment, with great emotion, I enjoyed it very much.
"The M1 is good on the road, I felt good. I expected it to be more difficult, but the bike was OK! In Tavullia there were a lot of people, and it looked like they also enjoyed it a lot."
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