Valentino Rossi MotoGP | Interview

MotoGP Championship Interview

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Valentino Rossi took his ninth (9th) World MotoGP Championship crown in Malaysia today, riding to third place in a dramatic rain-hit race at Sepang. It was the Valentino Rossi’s seventh (7th) title in the premier MotoGP class, his fourth (4th) for Yamaha – more than he has won with any other manufacturer – and his 163rd career podium. His Fiat Yamaha teammate and challenger, Jorge Lorenzo, was forced to start from the back of the grid after a sighting lap problem. Jorge Lorenzo recovered brilliantly.  He rode a superb race to finish in fourth place but well short of continuing his points challenge for the 2009 MotoGP World Champiionship title through to the next and final round.

Here is what Valentino Rossi had to say about his 9th MotoGP World Championhship:

Question: Valentino, how does it feel to win your 9th world championship and who would you like to thank?

Valentino Rossi: "Nine world championships is a great achievement, I’m so happy! I would need one hour to thank everyone! Starting with everyone at Yamaha – Furusawa-san, Lin Jarvis, Davide Brivio and all my guys, especially Jeremy. I couldn’t have done it without Jeremy and he is like my motorcycle father! I also have to thank my family and friends – Stefania, Graziano, Uccio, Albi…so many! All the team, Yamaha and Bridgestone; together we’ve done a great, great job and it’s always a huge enjoyment to ride and work with these people. In order to stay at this level through a whole season you have to be calm and have the right people around you and this is what I have. We’ve stayed concentrated and focused even in the bad moments, so we can congratulate ourselves with this ninth title.

Question: Valentino, how did the rain impact this MotoGP race here in Sepang and your chances of winning your 9th title?

Valentino Rossi: "Today without the rain it could have been a brilliant race, with the four top riders fighting together, but the rain changed it, all our work was thrown away and we had to start with a bike we didn’t know so well. I made a good start but I made a mistake in braking, it felt like I was braking for one year and I went wide! Of course I wanted to win but after the first corner it was difficult with Casey so strong so I went for the podium. I really enjoyed the race and I think it was great to watch."

Question: Valentino, what was the turning point in this MotoGP race from your perspective?

Valentino Rossi: "After Dovizioso unfortunately crashed I tried to go with Dani but then he started to push and I already had the podium, so I decided to take it a bit easier. I was happy to risk a little for the podium, but it wasn’t sensible to keep taking risks for second when the championship was safe."

Question: Valentino, you always love to celebrate… tell us about your celebration today over your 9th championship?

Valentino Rossi: "The t-shirt and the celebration is called the ‘Gallina Vecchia!" In Italian we say that the old chicken makes good soup, but it’s no use for laying eggs. I am old now, 30, but this old hen has made another egg today and now we have nine! As usual I thought it up at home in Tavullia, together with my fan club, and we had great fun designing the t-shirt and the helmet."

Question: Valentino, any last thoughts on the challenges you faced in the 2009 MotoGP season?

Valentino Rossi: "It’s been a great season, for sure one of the hardest at times. It’s been harder than last year, when we won after two difficult years, but we’ve had some troubles this year at times and I have had a very hard rival in my team-mate Lorenzo. He has pushed me to new levels and I think it’s been a great duel to the end. There have been some bad moments, like Portugal when we weren’t at 100%, but we have worked well. Lorenzo has done a great job to put this pressure on us so I have to say well done to him."

Question: Valentino, how did the single tire manufacture rule play into to 2009 season?

Valentino Rossi: "This season we’ve had a mono-tyre rule but we have still improved the lap record in many laps and this shows that we’ve all been on the limit all season. This is why we’ve all made mistakes; this is to be expected when you have four riders fighting together."

Question: Valentino, what was th best part of the 2009 MotoGP season for you?

Valentino Rossi: "The best moment of the season for me, the best emotion, was the last pass in the last corner at Barcelona. This was the most exciting moment of the championship for me, one of the best for many years I think! The worst moment was probably the stupid error and crash in Indianapolis, but this led to the perfect win in Misano in front of all the fans so in the end it was okay!

Question: After 14 seasons and 9 world championships, how are you feeling?

Valentino Rossi: "I still feel just as motivated as ever. I still have a great passion to ride better and better, to be on my bike and to win. I enjoy always trying to improve and to work with my team to do this. I am 30 but I still feel great emotion and great satisfaction from success. My passion for motorcycles is what keeps me enjoying every race and helps me to keep pushing even though I am the oldest of these first top guys. I have to train harder and work harder to stay focused now, but I still enjoy the challenge as much as ever."

Question: We have to ask, do you have any thoughts yet about next season?

Valentino Rossi: "I think next year will be very, very hard. We’re all on the same bikes and I think it will be between me, Lorenzo, Stoner and Pedrosa again. On Tuesday in Valencia we will try the new model and I am looking forward to working on the new M1, but I have the greatest rival in my team so it won’t be easy!"

Question: Any parting thoughts for all your fans here?

Valentino Rossi: "Every championship is special for different reasons, it’s unforgettable every time and this day is no different. I’m World Champion once again and now I want to go and party!"