"They Are Different In the Hills"
by dean adams
Friday, April 20, 2012

Where will you find Valentino Rossi most thursday nights before a GP? Putting stickers on his bike.
image thanks, V. Rossi

If you can apply a stereotype to Italians, it may well be that a vast many of them are devoutly superstitious.

Superstitions date back to the dawn of man and are, of course, not exclusive to Italians. However, in short, in Italy one does not walk under a ladder, spill salt on the table, lay a hat on a made bed, open an umbrella inside the house, put a loaf of bread down top first, nor does one skip steps when ascending/descending a staircase. Also, one does not wear (pick a color) on (pick a day). Dr. Claudio Costa has been known to tear up airline tickets and cancel flights simply because the number 13 was somewhere on the itinerary. Moreover, if you were lucky enough to eat lunch in his private hospitality at Imola, then perhaps you noticed that at the larger tables there were either 12 or 14 chairs, never 13.

Valentino Rossi admitted in his autobiography that he is rampantly superstitious and that his lifelong belief in superstition is as a result of his faith in Kabbalah, which, in a laymen's sense, is basically the Force as per the film Star Wars. Rossi lives by a code of behavioral rituals, including his odd footpeg-tug before getting on the bike, putting his left glove on first or his manhood adjustment when idling down the pit lane before taking to the track, and many, many more. It is also suggested that he won't allow women in the garage, and once put an actual curse on Sete Gibernau. As is said in Milan, "they are different in the hills" (Tavullia, Rossi's hometown, is considered an Urbinian hill town).

A photo posted by Rossi on his Twitter account prior to Qatar revealed that Rossi is still methodically applying some of the decals on his MotoGP bikes, which is another of his rituals dating back to his 125 days.


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