WATCH: Oscar Piastri correctly guesses Valentino Rossi as Lando Norris’ biggest childhood hero
Oscar Piastri correctly selected the MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi as Lando Norris’ childhood hero ahead of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
Oscar Piastri, Lando Norris and Valentino Rossi (via imago)
Ceremonies and celebrations were in high order ahead of the highly awaited Las Vegas Grand Prix. The iconic race quickly became the highlight of the 2023 F1 calendar and as the third F1 race in the United States, garnered unprecedented attention. Vegasmagazine, like many others, decided to host a fun event ahead of the race with the two McLaren drivers, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.
The two drivers were made to guess things about each other and were awarded points for every correct guess about the other driver. In one such question, Oscar Piastri – the younger of the two McLaren driver had to guess Lando Norris’s childhood hero. Piastri smirked at the question as this answer has been long known to many amongst the paddock and even to several fans across the world. The answer was undoubtedly the Italian motorsport legend Valentino Rossi. The MotoGP star is often known as the greatest motorcycle racer in the history of the iconic sport.
Norris has famously spoken multiple times about his adoration for the icon and even sports Rossi’s unmistakable ‘neon-yellow’ color on his helmet. Norris previously made a vlog about his first meeting with his childhood hero, which is still available on the driver’s youtube channel. Oscar Piastri, after his smirk, correctly guessed the answer and a roar of applause followed the MotoGP Icon’s mention.
Ducati claims Valentino Rossi’s failure at the team led to Ducati’s resurgence
Valentino Rossi bid adieu to his Yamaha M1 at the end of 2010 and decided to join Ducati in 2011. The News appeared to be a blessing for everyone in Italy – An Italian Champion riding an Italian bike; the pairing seemed destined for Greatness. Remember, Rossi was at the height of his powers in 2010, having won nine World Championships and only losing out on the 2010 Title (to Jorge Lorenzo) because of a horror injury. Everyone expected the pairing to produce marvelous results, but the eventual seasons that followed were extremely anti-climactic.
Rossi only managed three podiums in his two years at the Italian garage and failed to register a Grand Prix Victory. Ducati’s sporting director, Paolo Ciabatti, recounts what happened at the factory in 2012 (Rossi’s second year) [as reported by crash.net].
Then halfway through 2012 two things happened – Audi bought Ducati and they wanted changes in the racing department.
Ducati’s woes were on full display while Rossi was on the team, and thus, the management decided that it was time for huge changes in the factory.
Ciabatti talks about how 2015 was the turning point as the 2015 Ducati bike was developed under Gigi Dall’Igna’s leadership from the start, and a new engine was being developed at the factory (the famous V4). The bike continued to develop as Andrea Dovizioso finished runners-up behind Marc Marquez three years in a row (2017, 2018, 2019). Ducati finally clinched the World Title with Pecco Bagnaia in 2022 and has utterly dominated the 2023 season. The Italian partnership did hold some fruit for Ducati at long last.