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Top 10 Valentino Rossi Celebrations

The orchestrated victory antics that have defined the popularity of the greatest motorcycle racer of all time

With enthusiastic supporters and vocal critics Valentino Rossi is the largest persona to have ever graced motorsport. What has marked and rocketed his fame is the victory celebrations that Rossi takes part in.

From taking a blow up doll with Claudia Schiffer scribbled on the back for a ride, a jibe at Biaggi being photographed with Naomi Campbell, to the down right ridiculous signing the ‘deeds’ with a lawyer at Motegi in 2008

The post-race antics have become a stable attribute for the nine times Champion, the spur of the moment celebrations and the orchestrated theatrics scripted by the Tribu dei Chihuahua are a catalyst for the Italian’s popularity

From Valentino Rossi’s 104 wins (and counting) here is a look at 10 celebrations that have defined the racing identity of one the sport's greats.

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10. Standing ovation

10. Symphony of violins, Donington Park, 2005

Donington Park in 2005 featured typical weather as torrential rain left the British GP drenched with treacherous standing water. Valentino Rossi left the field in his wake, not without making it too difficult for himself by coming through the pack after a poor start.

The celebration over the finish line was a comment towards his best lap time, “I thought it was like a symphony of violins – perfect, so I decided that if I won I would do this celebration across the finish line!”

Click next for no.9


9. Guardian Angel

9. Guardian Angel, Rio, 1999

The career of Valentino Rossi has had a strange pattern, a year to acclimatise to a new class followed by a championship triumph.

1999 was a similar affair, after finishing runner-up in 1998 Rossi went on to win the 250 championship the following year. At the Rio de Janiero GP he thanked his Guardian Angel by giving it a lift to the paddock for more celebrations.

Click next for no.8

8. Humility at Le Mans, 2008

8. Humility at Le Mans, 2008

As he solidifies his own name in GP history as one of the greats, Valentino Rossi also shows gracious humility for the riders whose records he has surpassed.

After winning the French GP in 2008 Rossi stopped on the slow down lap, when he continued he was riding pillion to the 125GP legend Angel Nieto. This demonstration was to signify equalling the 90 victories of the 12+1 time champion.

Similarly, when Rossi reached 76 wins he held a sign that read “Sorry Mike”  in honour of the late Mike ‘The Bike’ Hailwood.

Click next for no.7

7. Osvaldo appears

7. Osvaldo appears, Catalunya, 1998

Osvaldo the chicken was a fictitious sponsor from a local chicken farmer that adorned the Aprilia RS250 of Valentino Rossi, the Italian press were mystified to this new sticker that they scoured Italy to learn more about Osvaldo.

It all turned out to be a huge gag and Osvaldo made a grand appearance riding pillion after Rossi won at Catalunya in 1998.

Click next for no.6

6. Strike

6. Strike, Jerez, 2007

Following the loss of the championship the year before, in 2007 Rossi marked the 800 era with a win at Jerez. He celebrated this by scoring a strike, with the members of the inner circle of the 'Tribu' dressed as giant pins.

Rossi was unsuccessful again in 2007, dropping to third in the standings after a difficult year with Michelin tyre woes, which prompted his move to Bridgestones in 2008 and a return to success.

Click next for no.5

5. A condemed man

5. A condemed man, Czech GP, 2003

The Italian media have always had a fickle affection towards Valentino; when he is victorious they are hailing him as 'larger than the Pope' but when he is struggling they put it down to him losing his heart in racing.

At Brno in 2003, Rossi made the statement with his chain gang celebration that with everyone expecting him to finish first every race that he was a condemed man, condemed to win..

Click next for no.4

4. Sweeping the opposition

4. Sweeping the opposition, Sepang, 2004

Following Sweep-gate incident at Qatar, Rossi put down the ultimatium that Sete was no longer his friend but more harrowing for the Spaniard was the voodoo proclamation that he would not win another race.

After winning the race at Sepang in Malaysia Rossi launched the 'La Rapida' cleaning service, offering possibly the best in tarmac sweeping.

Click next for no.3

La Rapida

3. 200mph speeding ticket

3. 200mph speeding ticket, Mugello, 2002

As a racer when you continually dominate racing skeptics look at alternative reasons behind the wins, in 2002 when Rossi was walking away with the inaugural 990 MotoGP class people were claiming the victories were down to the top speed of the Honda RCV.

At Mugello, which features one of the longest straights on the calendar, Rossi was pulled over and issued a speeding ticket by Polizia.

Click next for no.2

2. The new love

2. The new love, Welkom, 2004

The first round of the MotoGP championship at Welkom was to be a historic day for Valentino Rossi as it was his debut with Yamaha after moving from Honda. The race was a 28 lap battle between the Italian and his arch nemesis Max Biaggi, with Rossi taking the victory by the minimal .210 gap.

What proceeded was an emotionally charged celebration for Rossi, there were no crazy antics just an affectionate moment between man and machine. An ecstatic Rossi pulled over to the side of the track and lovingly kissed his beautiful new M1, then he sat beside the Yamaha and took a quiet moment with his new partner. He appeared to be crying but it turned out that he was laughing at the audacity of the win.

Click next for no.1

1. Toilet break

1. Toilet break, Jerez, 1999

Topping the list at number one is Rossi's celebration from the 250 Grand Prix at Jerez in 1999.

On the slow down lap originality and hilarity combined when Rossi leaped the fence to take an impromptu leak in the marshall's port-a-loo after taking victory at the Spanish circuit.

On the 10 year anniversary of this celebration Rossi re-enacted the stunt.