It’s pretty much impossible to debate that Valentino Rossi is an unmatched talent when it comes to two-wheeled competition. The guy is a master of traction management, and this massive talent came in handy on his way to sharing victory with Luca Marini at the recent 100km Tavullia race in Italy. Fifty laps of a 2 kilometer dirt course, complete with a Le Mans-style start and a rider change.
How intimidated would you be showing up for this race when you saw Vale’s name on the entry list? I’m no two-wheel talent, but I’d immediately know that I had no chance of winning. Even if this isn’t exactly the discipline in which he’s a nine-time champion, or remotely related to the kind of bike he rode in those championships, he’s still probably capable of dominating a regional race.
42 riders took part in this amazing race, and only this pair of super-talented Italians could come out on top. From start to finish they just ruled.
I appreciate when top-flight racers take their skills to a different discipline. This seems a little bit like Lewis Hamilton spending the weekend racing a Super Modified at a dirt oval in Indiana. That talent transfer is inherent when it comes to those next-level competitors.
And if you don’t really care about the racing itself, this video is worth it for the two-by-two tandem sideways slides through the corners on bikes leaned over at incredible angles, feet slung akimbo to keep balance. Not only does this take a massive amount of talent to achieve solo, it requires mega trust that the guy in front or behind knows how to manage it as well as you do. Watching that trust play out is truly stunning.