MotoGP: Riders to meet Pope Francis before Misano

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Five MotoGP riders will travel to the Vatican City next Wednesday for an audience with Pope Francis, ahead of next weekend’s San Marino Grand Prix at the Misano circuit. Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller and Andrea Iannone will be joined by MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleta and Paulo Simoncelli, father of Marco.

The riders will travel to Rome for the meeting on Wednesday, the day that the leader of the Catholic Church makes his usual weekly appearance in St Peter’s Square.

It’s not the first time that the Pope has shown an interest in motorbikes, helping Harley Davidson celebrate their 110th anniversary in 2013 by blessing a gathering of bikers. He was also presented with a Heritage Softail Classic that was later sold at auction for £35,000 for charity.

The news of the riders’ visit to the Vatican has raised some eyebrows, however, with some fans taking to social media to question whether MotoGP bosses Dorna should be mixing religion and sport.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer