Saturday, February 16, 2008

Happy Birthday DR-800

Although I traditionally don’t make motorsports birthday wishes, just to get off of the RASSCAR luv-fest (Is there a race somewhere this weekend?) I’d like to change tact’s completely by giving the following shout out to “The Doctor.”

The racer in questione is from some place named Urbino and he’s “Juan” of the most successful Scooter pilotes of all time. Have I given it away yet? Yeah, that’s right… Today is Valentino Rossi’s birthday, as rumours claim he’ll be turning 29.

As many of you’ll be aware of, this feisty Italian MOTO GP superstar, has won seven FIM World Championships a la Michael Schumacher’s seven Formula 1 crowns, albeit Rossi’s titles were in four different disciplines; 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MOTO GP.

Rossi is also zeroing in on eclipsing Ferrari legend Schumacher’s unprecedented record of 91 Grand Prix victories, as statistics suggest that the Doctor is currently sitting on 88! Although Valentino has some distance to go in order to surpass Schumacher’s career pole positions tally of 68, as the Italian currently has 49.

Further comparisons between Herr Schumacher’s dominance of Formula 1 reveals that upon Rossi finishing third in the championship last year, it Was the first time he’d been outside of the top two positions since his rookie campaign in 2000.

Continuing this very loosely constructed theme of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro brethren, it’s entertaining to note that they’re both proud offspring from the same stable, as its hilarious that Rossi rides for FIAT-Yamaha, while Herr Schumacher’s Formula 1 dynasty centers around his Prancing Horse career. Like Schumacher, Rossi also has claimed five consecutive championships, (2001-05) albeit with two different manufacturers, (Honda, Yamaha) while Schuey ran away with five consecutive titles for Ferrari. (2000-04)

Both men brought key personnel with them during their respective moves between World Championships, as Schumacher brought a large portion of the Benetton staff along with him; Rory Byrne, Ross Brawn, Nigel Stepney to name a few, while Rossi enticed chief Honda mechanic Jeremy Burgess to follow him to Yamaha.

The two racing phenoms have also been handsomely rewarded for their services, as Schuey was unquestionably the highest paid F1 pilote of his time, as even in semi-retirement, he’s set to become the very first Billionaire Formula 1 driver! While it’s suggested that Valentino is plodding along on a paltry $30m yearly retainer.

And lastly, both men have not only tested for the Scuderia, with Rossi trying out Michaels “Schues” in 2006 at Valencia, where Rossi clocked in faster lap times than accomplished F1 pilots David Coulthard, Mark Webber and Jarno Trulli, upon finishing just one half second slower then Schumacher’s fastest lap.

Not to be outdone, Schuey at the tender age of 38 (who’s 10 years older than Valentino) recently tried his hand aboard 2007 MOTO GP Champion Casey Stoner’s Ducati at testing in Valencia the day after the MOTO GP Championship’s penultimate round, where Schumacher electrified the press by being only a scant five seconds plus off of Dani Pedrosa’s new lap record! Thus, it seems clear that both of these mega superstars share many passions alike. Wonder if Michael will share a Bitburger and stogey with ze Doctor…