August, 2021 was a big month for Valentino Rossi. The Doctor kicked things off by announcing his imminent retirement from MotoGP at the end of the 2021 season. While he’ll still be fielding his VR46 teams on the grid in 2022, not being in the saddle himself will mark a major shift in his career. Still, it was Vale’s late-August, 2021 announcement that may have the biggest impact of all on his life. That’s when he and partner Francesca Sofia Novello announced that they were expecting a baby.
On March 4, 2022, Vale and Francesca both took to their social media accounts to officially announce the newest member of their family to the world. The baby is a girl, and her name is Giulietta Rossi. A post published on their social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter reads, “Mom and Dad are in seventh heaven! Welcome Giulietta Rossi.”
An accompanying black and white photo shows a tiny little foot with a hospital bracelet around the ankle. The baby’s miniature metatarsals are resting on an adult’s fingers, and are also all snuggled up with a plush blanket. Warm and fuzzy feelings, get.
The year 2022 will surely go down in Valentino Rossi’s personal history as a year of all kinds of new challenges. There is, of course, his four-wheeled shift to piloting a W Racing Team Audi R8 LMS in the 2022 GT World Challenge Europe series. Back in Vale’s old stomping grounds, in a little international motorcycle racing series called MotoGP that you may have heard of, there’s the introduction of the Doctor’s Mooney VR46 team into the top tier of motorcycle racing.
While those things may be new, they’re still at least a little familiar. Rossi has, after all, been involved in motorsports for his entire life. It’s a world that’s probably as second-nature to him as breathing is for most of us. 2022 marks the first time that the Doctor became a father to a tiny little human being, though—and that’s an entirely new experience. Here’s wishing the new Rossi family unit all the best, both in 2022 and in the lifetime to come.