Even people who don’t know the difference between motocross and MotoGP know who The Doctor is, so it was only a matter of time before a biography of Valentino Rossi was slid across my desk here at CityBike World Headquarters.
Penned by a guy named Michael Scott who has literally written the book on MotoGP (as well as biographies of Barry Sheene and Wayne Rainey), Valentino Rossi: Life of a Legend chronicles the nine-time world champion’s rise to greatness.
Scott has been hanging around the MotoGP paddock covering the series since the early Eighties, so he’s seen firsthand what Rossi is capable of, and he references and compares stories told directly to him by Valentino throughout Life of a Legend.
The book has 14 chapters, beginning with Valentino’s early years and his relationship with his motorcycle racing father Graziano. The furthest thing from a “little league dad,” the elder Rossi never pushed his child into racing, but he is quoted as saying that he “certainly never discouraged it.” From there it talks about how quickly the younger Rossi was able to not only learn, but master new motorcycles—one year to learn, one year to win. The book also covers his VR46 brand and how he is working with the next generation of racers through his VR46 Academy.
The book is well written, but even if you’re not much of a reader it still delivers. Hundreds of photos help to tell the story, ranging from action-packed race pics and heart-palpitating crash photos, to behind the scenes paddock documentation and candid shots of the good doctor interacting with his friends and family. The photos alone are worth every penny of the book’s price.
If that wasn’t enough, Life of a Legend also has an index for quick reference. Want to know what Rossi really thought about Max Biaggi, or just how many people are behind his VR46 brand? Easily accessed.
Obviously, the book caters to fans of Valentino—it is his biography—but it devotes quite a few pages to how other riders in the paddock and he have shared influence over the years, as well as friendships that have made dramatic, 180-degree turns.
While the final chapter has not yet been written on Rossi’s career, this biography is a great way to get caught up on the history of one of the greatest racers of all time.
$35. Hard cover, 192 pages, 9.6” x 11.2”. Grab your own copy at Amazon.com.
This story originally appeared in our August 2018 issue.