Norris reveals MotoGP legend Rossi wants to race ‘together’

Date published: November 12 2021 - Michelle Foster

Lando Norris is interviewed in Austin. United States GP October 2021.

As Valentino Rossi says farewell to MotoGP, Lando Norris has revealed that he and his childhood hero hope to race “together” down the line.

Norris is a huge fan of Rossi’s and met the legend at the 2019 British MotoGP race at Silverstone.

Since then the two have kept in contact while also following each other’s careers closely.

This weekend Rossi, a nine-time World Champion, is saying farewell to MotoGP having made the decision to hang up his helmet after the season-ending Valencia MotoGP.

Norris paid tribute to his boyhood hero.

“He sent me a message last night, just because he is going into the final race of his career,” the McLaren driver during Thursday’s press conference for the Brazilian GP weekend.

“It is sad times. I’m going to miss him.

“He was the guy that I watched when I was four, five, six years old. He got me into racing. He got me onto a motorbike first.

“He has been the guy that I have looked up to, the guy who kind of helped me get to this position where I am because probably without watching him my ambition of being a racing driver would not have been so high.

“I’m going to miss it. I’m lucky that I got to meet him once at a race at Silverstone. I got to go to the MotoGP race. I’m going to miss him in MotoGP. I don’t think it’s just me. There are millions of fans who support him and are also going to miss him being in F1 and the padlock.

“He is a character. One of the best things about him is the character that he is amongst people and fans, he has time for everyone. He is a good guy and he is definitely going to be missed.”

Asked what Rossi’s message said, Norris said he wouldn’t be sharing that with the world.

He did however reveal that the two are hoping to make plans to race “together” at some point.

“You want to know exactly what he said?” he answered. “I am not going to say anything.

“It was just a follow up from a message that I sent him before this final weekend. A little heartfelt message saying I was going to miss him in MotoGP and congratulations for everything that he has achieved.

“We talk every now and then. We still want to try to do some together – driving. He does a few GTs and stuff. Abu Dhabi 12 hours and the Dubai 12 hours.

“It’s not just motorbikes that he likes. He loves car racing as well. If he can spend some time to come to an F1 race, that is the plan for something that we want to do together. Hopefully that can be done.”