It’s no secret that a lot of pro roadracers use motocross as a means of training in their off-season: The general theory is that learning to manage the near-constant loss of traction in the dirt helps riders better manage rear wheel spin on their roadrace bikes.
In this YouTube video we get a somewhat rare glimpse of Valentino Rossi riding something other than a 200-plus hp MotoGP machine.
We only have to look at some of the successful roadracers that came from, specifically, a background in American-style dirttrack, aka flattrack, as evidence of how well dirt skills transfer to pavement. Nicky Hayden, Ben and Eric Bostrom, Danny Eslick, and of course the legend, King Kenny (Roberts), all have roots in dirttrack. However, when we think of the prestigious MotoGP circuit most of us usually don’t make the connection between the glamourous world of high horsepower, expensive prototype GP motorcycles and fairly common, affordable-for-the-everyman motorcross bikes. Yet, in this video we clearly see that Rossi values riding in the dirt as a means of preparing for roadracing.
It’s entertaining and kind of refreshing to see Rossi, perhaps the greatest MotoGP racer of all time, look a little less than polished as he has an occasional tip over and a near pile up. Also interesting is that a vineyard surrounds part of the dirt/moto track.