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Motorsport legend Valentino Rossi has lived up to his nickname 'The Doctor' in style after a brilliant baby reveal that has lit up social media.
The 42-year-old MotoGP legend - who announced he was retiring from the sport earlier this year - took to Instagram to share the exciting news that he and wife Francesca Sofia Novello are expecting their first child together.
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Rossi - the seven-time Moto GP world champion - posted a series of hilarious pictures of himself dressed as a real doctor, alongside his pregnant wife.
“After a careful visit we can tell you that Franci is pregnant! We are waiting for a girl,” Rossi captioned the post.
The Italian great was dressed in a white doctor's coat and even had a stethoscope as he pretended to attend to his wife and monitor the heartbeat of their unborn child.
Rossi shared the funny snaps with his 11.1 million Instagram followers, with the post proving a massive hit as it quickly garnered more than 1.3 million likes.
Novello wrote in a separate post: “You and me will be three. My heart is full of joy.”
Rossi, one of the greatest and most charismatic of motorcycling champions, called time on his fabulous MotoGP career earlier this month and said he is looking forward to a future in car racing.
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The 42-year-old Italian told a news conference at the Styrian Grand Prix in Austria on Thursday that 2021 would be his last season.
"I decided to stop at the end of the season," Rossi said.
"It's difficult, it's a very sad moment because it's difficult to say and to know that next year I will not race with the motorcycle.
"I do this thing for more or less 30 years. Next year, my life will change. But anyway, it was great, I enjoy very much this long, long journey and it was really, really fun.
"I love to race with the cars," added the Italian, when asked about the future. "Just a little bit less than racing with motorcycles. So I think I will race with the cars from next year."
He said one aim was to compete in the Le Mans 24 hours sportscar race.
Rossi is riding for the Malaysia-based Petronas Yamaha team but his form has faded, the veteran languishing 19th in the championship with a best finish of only 10th from nine races.
A showman on the bike and off it, and famed for his post-victory antics, 'The Doctor' last won a race in 2017 with Yamaha, in the Dutch TT at Assen.
The sport and his army of fans will miss him, with the Italian still a crowd favourite boasting worldwide recognition.
As for the nickname he adopted early in his career, Rossi admitted there was no particular significance behind his famous moniker.
“I don‘t think there is a particular reason, but it’s beautiful, and is important, The Doctor," he said.
“And in Italy, The Doctor is a name you give to someone for respect. It’s very important.”
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