Video: Rossi rides Silverstone - on a road 1198

Valentino Rossi on a road-spec Ducati 1198

THE grand opening of a new paddock wing at Silverstone provided the perfect opportunity for Valentino Rossi to learn the layout of the circuit ahead of the British GP. 

The seven-time champion got a short taster of the Silverstone GP circuit on the superbike spec 1198, the same he used to access his fitness earlier this year, although the test did not run smoothly as the bike suffered a technical fault with the electronics. Thankfully Ducati UK neighours the British circuit and were able to bring over a road-going Ducati 1198, complete with licence plate and mirrors, for Rossi to continue acclimatising himself with the circuit layout - and no doubt boosting the sale value of the Ducati in the process. 

Getting in some laps was the perfect chance for the Rossi to experience Silverstone as he was unable to compete in the race last year, missing the event whilst recuperating from his broken leg from the crash at Mugello, he described his impressions of the track:

"I really liked riding that bike here. The track is nice—difficult and very technical. It makes you work hard because there are very fast sections where having the right trajectory is important, and others that are very narrow where you have to have good grip under acceleration. The first turn is completely blind, and you must hold a very precise line, and in general the entire first section is really great, definitely the part I like most. In short, I enjoyed it, especially because there were many drivers and riders who have great histories in motorsports, like John Surtees, who told me that he raced here in the ’50s. I wasn’t following racing then, but he was great.”

Rossi was also in attendance to join racing legends in ceremony of the opening of The Silverstone Wing, the new paddock structure that comprises spacious garages, a media center, offices, and an auditorium.