MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi made his first visit to India this past weekend. Does this mean that India is in line to be a future site for MotoGP racing?
MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi
made his first trip to India this weekend as he visited the Yamaha
motorbike pavilion at the 2010 Auto Expo. Besides meeting with Yamaha senior executives and officers, Rossi also held a press conference for the crowd of over 300 Yamaha dealers and press members who gathered for an opportunity to meet the World Champion.
"This is my very first visit to India and I am impressed by the beauty of this country, although sadly I did not have much time to visit Delhi." Rossi said. "I hope to be able to come back soon and have more time to enjoy this place.”
During Rossi’s visit, the Italian rider was introduced to Mr. Yukimine Tsuji, CEO and Managing Director of India Yamaha Motor and Pankaj Dubey, National Business Head of India Yamaha Motor.
Rossi finished off his two-day trip by meeting John Abraham, one of the biggest Indian film stars who also serves as an ambassador for Yamaha India.
“Yamaha has been doing great things here and the positive response from the market is the evidence that they have been going in the right direction. The new models YZF-R15
Indian actor John Abraham (left) gives the crowd a big thumbs-up during his on-stage meeting with Rossi.
and FZ16, which are less-powerful replicas of the R1 and the Fazer, are definitely appropriate for this market and for the characteristics of the traffic here in India. In fact I am amazed at the traffic and the incredible numbers of cars and bikes on the road all the time, by day and night! It was great to see John Abraham, I met him a few years ago when he came to a race so it was nice to see him in his own country, where he is very famous!” Rossi said.
India is one of the fastest-growing markets for two-wheeled transportation. As a country, it purchases the second-most motorcycles in the world and has seen a recent transition from small-displacement scooters to larger displacement motorcycles. Rossi’s visit also helped promote MotoGP to a potential market for a future race site.
“I hope that one day we will have the chance to race here," Rossi said to the crowd.