Valentino Rossi and Ferrari own the hearts of the Italians
We knew this already. But here are some figures...
Learning that Valentino Rossi is the most appreciated athlete in Italy doesn't come as a surprise. The contrary would have us raising an eyebrow, however. Alongside The Doctor, Ferrari reigns supreme, thanks to their F1 team and heritage.
A recent study carried out by Repucom, which also administers the Celebrity DBI VIP popularity index, reveals that there are over 26 million motorsports enthusiasts in Italy. Their age ranges between 16 and 69, and a whopping 64 percent declared that they follow at least one sport regularly.
Formula 1 is the most watched sport in Italy, with a massive following of some 18.3 million fans, meaning over 70%. Motorcycling amasses 65 percent of the motorsport enthusiasts in a crowd of around 16.6 million. Third on the Repucom list comes the 24h of Le Mans with 8.6 million fans, the Superbike with 8.3 million, and the Dakar Rally with 8.3 million fans.
Valentino Rossi is the most popular motorsport figure
With 12 million likes on Facebook, 4.1 million followers on Twitter and 2.5 million followers on Instagram, Valentino Rossi is the most popular Italian athlete. In the Celebrity DBI rankings he enjoys a score of 89.6 points out of 100 possible. This score measures how popular a celebrity is in the online environment.
Mercedes' F1 driver Lewis Hamilton is the next most popular motorsport athlete, with 3.5 million likes on Facebook, 3.1 million Twitter followers and 2.4 million on Instagram, while Honda's MotoGP star Marc Marquez has 3.5 million on Facebook, 1.7 million on Twitter, and 1.4 million on Instagram.
Still, when it comes to the car brands, Italian motorsport fans enjoy most, Ferrari is first on the list, with a massive 84% of the votes, followed by McLaren and Mercedes with 4% and 3%, respectively. In the motorcycle world, Rossi's tug boat position is as clear as ever, with 36% of the respondents indicating Yamaha as their fav brand. Ducati is the runner-up on the list with 12%. Funny thing, 51 percent of those who said they follow MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 said they have no preference for a particular team, insella reports.
Can't even think about how these numbers would skyrocket in case Rossi wins his tenth GP World Championship by the time he retires.
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