MotoGP: Rossi's love for London, anger at bombings.
THURSDAY 21ST JULY 2005
At a time when Londoners are facing what looks like being their second wave of terrorist attacks in just over two-weeks, four-times reigning MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi - a resident of the capital since 2000 - has spoken of his own anger at the original 7/7 attacks.
Rossi was in London only yesterday to meet with the British press, Crash.net included, at an Italian restaurant near Marble Arch, where the topic of the previous bombings in his adopted home city was raised.
"Maybe now everywhere in the world is dangerous, for sure I live here so now everyone is more scared," said Valentino, who went on to stress that, while he was worried by what had happened, he had no intentions of moving.
And was he angry? "Yes for sure. Everybody feels angry - maybe more than angry - but it is like this," shrugged Vale, who confessed that he had already been too afraid to use the tube system: "It is better outside."
Nevertheless, Rossi was keen to point out the many pleasures of living in London.
"You have all the world in one city. Lots of good restaurants with different types and styles. It is also a good place at night," he said. "I hope I will live here a lot longer. I always enjoy it. It is my place. I have no plans to go."
And has his life in London changed much since 2000, when Rossi was starting his first year in the then 500cc class?
"It has changed a little bit but not very much, everybody is very polite. If people recognise me there is no big problem they just say 'Valentino you are the number one' and finish," he replied. "I can do normal things like go for a walk, go shopping, go to the restaurant without any big problems."
Dani Pedrosa and Carlos Checa are among the other Motorcycle Grand Prix riders who live in London.