Cult – a devout following to an ideal, person or thing.
The Valentino Rossi 46 cult is one of the most passionate groups I have had the pleasure to be amongst, and yes, it is a cult. It’s not a malicious or sadistic one, though, just very yellow. The ferocity of Rossi fans is well up there, alongside the followers of Football, Religion, Fashion and Money, which are arguably far more lethal.
To the giallo-masses that follow him, Rossi is a God. Literally, a God. For those of you who have no idea who I am refering to, and how dare you, he’s been competing for the last 20 years as a professional motorcycle racer and is a multi-champion. Due to a fortunate combination of exceptional skill, charming demeanour and expressive charisma, Rossi has risen to the status of God the world over, not just in Italy.
I visited the TT Racetrack in Assen, Holland, recently for the annual Moto GP event, making the pilgramage with friends from London. It seems the Moto GP pilgramage is something that all bike riders will undergo once in their lifetime; a pious journey that really is only understood and appreciated by those who have ridden a motorbike into a corner far too fast and survived. It was a powerful, passionate experience and because of the various forces at play, I’d like to delve a little deeper.