As part of BT Sport’s coverage of the event, Rossi – an honorary member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) – was presented with a “hall of fame” with the names of each driver he raced against. in the premier category throughout his career.
Interviewed by Suzi Perry, the Italian motorcycle legend was asked if there were any names in particular that stood out.
“John McGuinness – I’m still in touch with him! Rossi said.
Pressed on whether he would like to have raced against Morecambe’s man at the Isle of Man TT, where McGuinness is the second most successful rider in history with 23 wins behind Joey Dunlop of Northern Ireland – a 26-time winner – Rossi added: “I don’t want to run against him in TT, he’s too fast!
The 42-year-old MotoGP star also singled out Alex Barros, Colin Edwards, Nicky Hayden, Anthony Gobert, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, Marco Simoncelli and Marc Marquez for special mention.
Responding to Rossi’s recognition on Twitter, McGuinness said: “It’s amazing he’s saying kind words to them.” #GOAT
Rossi – considered by many to be the greatest motorcycle rider of all time – will hang up his leathers at the end of this season after a stellar Grand Prix career, in which he won the 125cc and 250cc world titles, a crown 500cc World and six MotoGP World Championships.
McGuinness, meanwhile, plans to return to TT in 2022, when it is expected to hit the 100 race start mark around the infamous Mountain Course.
The 49-year-old missed the TT in 2017 and 2018 due to injury, while his return with Norton in 2019 ended in disappointment after McGuinness failed to register a race finish Superbike and Senior.
The TT was canceled in 2020 and again this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the first year the event has not occurred in consecutive years since World War II.