Valentino Rossi NewsCurrently fourth in the MotoGP points race, Valentino Rossi is having his best year since 2010. That year – his last on the Fiat Yamaha before joining Ducati for two years – Rossi finished third overall. But when he joined Ducati, things went sour. For two years, the 34-year-old Italian finished without wins, only making it to the podium three times.
For 2013, he rejoined the factory Yamaha squad, earning a podium during the first race of the season at Qatar. Things got better, and Rossi took a win at Assen, which was his 80th premier-class victory in MotoGP.Ahead of Misano MotoGP, Rossi spoke with MotoGP.com, discussing the good and the bad.He began by talking about his two years with Ducati.Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “It would have been very nice to win with Ducati. I didn’t expect it to be so difficult. I gave it 100% but it wasn’t to be. These things happen. The difficult part was knowing it was two years.“At the end of the first I realized there was no chance, but knew I would have to go through a second year knowing I wouldn’t be able to fight for good positions. That was complicated. It was very difficult to find any motivation and to try and stay focused. In the end you don’t enjoy your 18 MotoGP races if you are travelling the world but knowing you can’t fight for what you want. When things are like that, it is quite difficult…“(When I returned to Yamaha) I was not entirely sure I would be given an official Yamaha M1. That left me worried that I would be ending my career with two negative years, so when it was confirmed that I would be racing with my M1 again I felt very, very motivated.”Once he was back on a blue bike, Rossi was also straight back on the podium.Valentino Rossi says: “The whole weekend had gone well (at Qatar). But then we had qualifying; the others were very strong and I wasn’t able to improve. I had to come through from behind. The race itself was nice because I rode especially well and managed a great pace over the last ten laps. When you realize you can actually catch the others, it’s a beautiful feeling.“Assen was the most special race so far because winning is just so different to anything else, including finishing second. It was a special victory for me from many points of view, especially since I had not won since 2010 and honestly did not know whether I would ever again. So to win at Assen in a beautiful race and after several overtaking moves…well, that was probably the most difficult win of my career, but the one I wanted most.”Rossi went on to specify precisely what the Dutch success meant to him:Valentino Rossi says: “At that precise moment, I felt reimbursed for all of the disappointments of the previous two years – and to taste victory again is always special.”Now poised for an ‘important race’ at Misano this weekend, Rossi stresses that he is targeting as many more victories as possible before the end of the campaign.Valentino Rossi says: “The aim is to finish inside the top three, to try and fight with Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech3) – who is very strong – and to score points, but mostly to be on the podium and be winning races.“As an approach to the races…well, I think it now takes more effort than it did before because, when you are young everything is always much easier. To achieve the results now, you must always be 100% focused and work especially hard in the garage to make sure no stone is left unturned.”With six rounds remaining, Rossi mathematically has an opportunity to take a eighth premier-class title. But to be successful, he has a long way to go. Rossi is currently 77 points behind the MotoGP Championship leader, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marqeuz, a 20-year-old rookie who has been unstoppable all season.
This Podcast is also brought to you by the new modular helmet from Schuberth, the C5. The C5 blends safety with light weight and amazing quietness. Visit Schuberth.com for more information.
This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!