Still a few races e Valentino Rossi will leave the scene. His confession on the eve of the Styrian GP was touching especially for those who attended, because he did not let many emotions leak out. He was lucid in the examination of the reasons, the experience, the perspectives. But sad inside, as happens to champions and supporting actors when they decide to say enough to a piece of their life that will remain the most important because it is the most intense: the one for which they gave up their youth, taking a leap that immediately projected them into the dimension. adult. Modern sport does not contemplate – if not very brief stretches – the period between adolescence and maturity. It forces a rapid and alienating growth, focusing on a single goal.
The motorsport disciplines are more all-encompassing than others, they impose frenetic rhythms in which you have to deal with your motorbike or car, then with contracts, then with sponsors, then with public relations, then with relations with the press, TV, social networks. A blender in which it is easy to lose the link with reality: the facts of the world, even if sensational, become secondary. Difficult to defend their spaces, difficult to understand who are friends, the profiteers, the time wasters. You need nerves of steel when you are at the top, tension never turns into habit. And the rest of existence is not enough to return to normality, to the pleasure of looking lightly together with a pinch of irony at what has been done before. There are too many “ex” who continue to live the ghosts of the past, recriminating facts that no longer interest anyone and telling (or telling each other) a different reality.
Fortunately, there are many exceptions. And I mean who I have known closely as Niki Lauda who immediately turned the page dedicating himself to his airline, only to return (also) to the slopes with very important management positions. Or Carlos Reutemann who even embraced a brilliant political career. Michael Schumacheron the other hand, he did not have time to stabilize in other activities. And when he left for the first time he made the glaring mistake of being overwhelmed by nostalgia and that sense of omnipotence that makes the champions believe that time does not exist for them, so the return to activity will be as fruitful as the previous glory. There will be a moment when Valentino Rossi will think so too, because the path of leaving the scene is anything but linear or painless. The moments lived to close the door pretending nothing happened. Recognition, the affection of the fans, walking lightly a foot above the earth for many years, people who go out of their way to solve every problem for free, even flattery, are a drug that it is indigestible to do without, even if in words one pretends that this is not the case, stating that now it is nice that others win and many other shamelessly lying considerations.
Having done only one thing up to that point, tackling other types of routes, not connected to sport, turns it all into a climb to Everest. For this reason there are numerous “ex” (not only from the world of motors) who, in very good faith and total inexperience, have squandered fortunes and assets by relying on the wrong people or impossible dreams. This is why many prefer to stay (or fall back) in their environment, undertaking collateral careers among known people and reassuring scenarios.
Valentino stated that would like to run in the car, which on a professional level he could have done years ago, back in 2004 when he successfully tested Schumacher’s Ferrari. But he wasn’t ready mentally, because he would have had to take a year of experience at Sauber or elsewhere before being considered for a starting position in Maranello. This was the way indicated to him by Montezemolo. Logical procedure which, among other things, would have protected Rossi in terms of experience and safety. In the end, however, Vale preferred to continue to be number 1 in motorcycles rather than number X in four wheels: how can you blame him? Giacomo Agostini also had a strong automotive temptation while he was in vogue with MV. He postponed to when he would stop and tried his hand at the cars late, without the fire inside. Rossi has already raced here and there in his spare time, between rallies and endurance races: he will be able to intensify his activity in 2022, as long as he enjoys himself and does not intend to make a second motoring career out of it, because now the right age is past. . But how can we not think of a pundit engagement a Sky or Dazn to comment on the Grands Prix that others will compete in? Always assuming that he does not suffer or that he unleashes the rusts of the past against his former rivals. But know that then there will be fierce television news jealousies of which today you are unaware. And the tripping will be the same as for a MotoGP grand prix.
The ideal for Rossi, at the end of the season, would be to take a few weeks of total relaxation, without thinking about anything, letting his mind suggest what to do. Because it is conceivable that already now he has received who knows how many proposals to devote himself to this or that thing. However, the answer will have to come from within, not from without. Vale needs to decide without being influenced by anyone to enjoy an inner serenity free from conditioning, sheltered from so many friends or supposed ones that will pull him by the jacket fearing themselves of losing the sap that fed them. Forty-three years (he will have many next year) represent an enormous container of experiences to be invested in the long life that awaits him. Pablo Picasso when the question was asked about what he would do on the day he would no longer paint, he replied gently: “I will grow flowers», Sailing on sweet and extravagant landscapes. Valentino does not need to give himself or give a hasty answer on the subject, but know that he will still have an immense, very luxurious gift, completely unknown to him: time. A universe in which, to be happy, he can range well beyond the ranch, the circuits, the glory, the business, the popularity, discovering other priorities, other scenarios no less fascinating than those he is leaving.