Lando Norris pays heartwarming tribute to Valentino Rossi ahead of final competitive race

Lando Norris has paid a heartwarming tribute to Valentino Rossi, who will be racing for the last time in MotoGP.

Norris and Rossi have a friendship that goes back all the way to 2019. The McLaren driver met the Italian legend at Silverstone, and wore a Rossi tribute helmet at Monza that same year.

The Petronas Yamaha rider will be racing for the final time in MotoGP, drawing the curtains on an illustrious and decorated career. He sent a message to his young British friend before it, and Norris was touched upon reading it.

Norris paid a heartwarming tribute to Rossi, and declared his admiration for him since he was a young boy.

“He sent me a message last night, just because he is going into the final race of his career,” he said as quoted by

“It’s sad times. I’m going to miss him. He was the guy I watched when I was four, five, six years old. He got me into racing, got me onto a motorbike first.

“He’s been the guy that I’ve looked up to, the guy who’s kind of helped me get to this position where I am because probably without watching him, my ambition of being a racing driver wouldn’t have been so high.

rossi norris
Norris (left) with Rossi (right). Source: Yamaha

“It’s not just motorbikes that he likes. He loves car racing as well…If he can spend a bit more time to come to an F1 race, that is the plan for something we want to try and do together,” he concluded.

Valentino’s Day

Seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton also paid tribute to Rossi. He heaped praise on the legend, and admired his passion and dedication.

“It’s obviously sad to see Vale stopping but I think his drive, his approach, just everything he’s done has been incredible,” he said.

“The passion that he’s had for so long has shown through. And just such a legend, one of the greatest to ever do it.”

The 41-year-old Rossi will take to riding in his 432nd race this weekend. He holds a record 89 wins and 199 podium finishes in the sport, and will retire with an unparalleled legacy.

Read more: Norris sends fans into fits of rage after revealing favourite food item – “People look at me weirdly”

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