Because a room full of racing leathers is so much cooler than a scrapbook.
As Sabrina showed us all in 2019, the Dainese Archivio (where the Italian gear maker houses an incomparable collection of race-used moto leathers) is truly amazing. Still, chances are good that if you visit it, you probably won’t slide each suit over on the rack to examine it individually. If that’s the case, maybe you don’t even notice the conspicuous absence of one specific and rather famous collection of suits.
It turns out that for about the past 10 years, Valentino Rossi has quietly been assembling his very own Secret Archive. Not every racer has the career longevity that he has—so if someone was going to create a special place like this, it makes sense that it would be The Doctor.
Vale has exclusively worn Dainese leathers and AGV helmets for the duration of his career—going back all the way to 1993. He credits this, in large part, to being raised by his racer dad Graziano. His dad helped him make connections with Lino Dainese and Aldo Drudi very early on, as he was first finding his footing. As common wisdom goes, sometimes it’s totally about who you know, and those are undoubtedly two great people to have on your side if you’re a motorcycle racer.
This video is the first of a four-part series inside Valentino’s Secret Archives, presented by Dainese—and if the other three parts are like this one, motorcycle racing fans everywhere are in for a treat. It isn’t just Vale’s collection of gear, you see—it’s all the stories and memories that gear brings up, of a life very well lived.
In this video, you see Rossi animatedly discuss the gear, the races, other racers he’s admired over the years—and you see once again that he’s just as much a fan of all this as we are. After all this time, there’s absolutely no doubting his love and dedication for motorcycle racing. I mean, projects like his ongoing VR46 Academy also make that pretty clear, but it’s another thing to see the stories come directly from his mouth.
There’s never been any doubt that Rossi absolutely loves the sport he’s in, even to this day—but it’s still such a joy to see glimpses of that level of excitement as we approach the 2020 season.