Rossi is born in Urbino, Italy, of Graziano and Stefina Rossi, and is brought up in the nearly city of Tavullia. His father, a former motorcycle racer, teaches him to ride a motorbike. Concerned for his safety, his mother forces his father to buy Rossi a kart, which his father upgrades from 60cc motor to 100cc.
Despite a poor start, Rossi charges through the pack on a wet track to get his first win in the 500cc class, at the British GP at Donington Park, ahead of Kenny Roberts Jr. and Jeremy McWilliams.
Rossi talks about the British GP at Silverstone.
Silverstone is a great track. Very difficult, very long, but full of history. Last year was not so bad. For sure there will be harder, maybe difficult conditions, maybe cold, maybe rain, so we have to be ready for all aspects.
Rossi speaks to the Italian media about his comments on Marc Marquez helping out Jorge Lorenzo.
In the race I noticed it, but I did not understand; Marquez was a step above everyone, but instead of trying to try to battle Lorenzo, he stayed with me to fight with Iannone and others. He knew that I was losing out to the Ducati on the straight. And so every time I tried to pass him, he re-overtook me (super-aggressive, but thats the way it is). But then he slowed to create a gap to Jorge. His bad luck was that on Sunday Jorge was not so strong, because otherwise it would have been over already. Instead, he always kept Jorge in check, knowing that he could catch him within 3 laps, and then tried to slow me and Iannone, perhaps trying to put other riders between me and Lorenzo. And in the end, that’s what he did. It is clearly quite worrying, but it doesn’t worry me too much. [He did this ] because he would prefer Lorenzo to win. He is angry at me for a personal matter. Although he never said it, he thinks that in Argentina I made him crash; and then at Assen he is still thinking about the last chicane, in his head he feels he should have won that race. Since then he has been angry and thinking like a child: I do not win, but you do not win either. At this point, the lesser evil is for him is for Lorenzo to win.
After being overtaken by Marquez in the 13th lap of the Sepang GP, Rossi runs Marquez wide and when Marquez’s Honda gets too close, Rossi pushes his leg against the bike. Marquez falls off his bike and is forced to retire. Rossi continues and finishes in third place. The race is won by Jorge Lorenzo. Marquez:
We were having a good race up until the incident – we started a fight between us and I always passed without making contact with him. At Turn 14 he passed me on the inside and I saw him looking at me. I didn’t know what to do. Then he kicked out at me, knocking my brake lever, and I crashed. Both what Valentino said to race direction and what he did on the track has made me disappointed. I’ve never seen anything like it: a rider kicking another rider.
— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) October 25, 2015
Following a post-race investigation, Rossi is given three penalty points and will start the final race of the season from the back of the grid after kicking Marquez off his bike during the Malaysian Grand Prix. MotoGP race director Webb:
It’s irresponsible riding causing a crash and for that we have imposed three penalties points on Rossi.
Rossi now leads Lorenzo by just seven points in the championship. Rossi:
Unfortunately, I lose a lot of time with Marc. And in turn 14, I tried to go a bit wide to take a better line and make him slow. He came to me and I think he crashed in that moment. His handlebar touched my foot and my foot slipped off, a bike can’t crash only with a touch. He has won his fight, he made me lose the championship.
Yamaha have said they will appeal against the sanction.
Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Jarvis explains Rossi’s appeal.
Our job as a team is to protect the interests of our riders, so while we cannot deny that Valentino’s move is not the sort of move that we want to see in MotoGP, at the same time we feel the penalty is quite harsh, especially when Valentino is not normally a dirty rider. He’s not a rider that creates issues or problems for other people. As a team, we appealed to the FIM and the first decision of the race control. They heard him, also consulted race direction, consulted Marc Marquez and Honda, and finally after a period of 45 minutes we have the results of the appeal, which was rejected. The original penalty of three points against Valentino stands, and in the process of appealing, if the FIM steward rejects your appeal and agrees with the original decision, it is no longer appealable – it becomes final. It’s case closed. That means now that Valentino Rossi will go to Valencia with this penalty.
If anything, knowing him [Rossi], this will probably make him more motivated to come back and to try to do another memorable season like this. And the championship isn’t over – you have to keep that in mind. He has a seven-point lead, and while he’s at a massive disadvantage starting from the back, in racing anything can happen. You never know if he can salvage something. Anything can happen.
Rossi comments on his penalty to the Italian media.
The sanction is almost definitive: to start last in Valencia equals not having any chance of making it. This way the championship is distorted. I gave everything to win this title. Losing it on track is one thing, this way hurts a lot more. Should it help, Marquez would let Lorenzo through on the last lap [at Valencia].
He also says he may not race at Valencia, but that comment is played down by Yamaha.
The integrity of MotoGP is falling into disgrace. You have just condoned dirty racing tactics by punishing Valentino Rossi for pursuing the championship whilst being harassed and sabotaged by Marc Marquez. Justifying your decision by stating that there is no rule to deal with the actions of Marc Marquez is as absurd as saying there is no rule to prevent riders shooting at other riders with guns.
Rossi tweets that he will race in Valencia.
Reading all your messages has allowed me to overcome my bitterness and anger and today, we’ll be starting work on Valencia! Thanks for all your support.
Grazie a tutti per il fantastico supporto,leggervi mi ha aiutato a superare amarezza e incazzatura. Da oggi si lavora per Valencia.
— Valentino Rossi (@ValeYellow46) October 27, 2015
Yamaha releases MOTOBOT, an autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot. The robot has a rigid torso and legs, and arms jointed at the shoulders and wrists but not elbows. The robot rides a 1,000cc R1M superbike, modified with outrigger-mounted wheels. Yamaha wants develop the robot to ride an unmodified motorcycle on a racetrack at more than 200 km/h. In the video, MOTOBOT challenges Rossi.
The way you ride is both beautiful and exciting. I am improving my skills every day but I am not sure I could even beat the five-year-old you. Perhaps if I learn everything about you, I will be able to catch up. I am not human, but there has to be something only I am capable of. I am MOTOBOT. I was created to surpass you.
Rossi appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after he was demoted to the back of the grid in the Valencia GP on Nov 8. He asks for an annulment or reduction of the penalty from three points to one. Rossi also files an application to stay the execution of the decision in order not to lose his place on the starting grid at the Valencia. The court will decide by Nov 6.
Nakamoto says that, while video evidence is inconclusive, data from Marquez bike shows that Rossi kicked Marquez.
First of all, we would like to state that we believe it is very important to speak about the facts, not about assumptions. A fact is a fact and there is only one interpretation…It is clear that Valentino intentionally pushed Marc towards the outside of the track, which is out of the rules, therefore Marc had no other option other than to run wide. The data from Marc’s bike shows that even though he was picking up the bike trying to avoid contact with Valentino, his front brake lever suddenly received an impact that locked the front tyre, which is the reason for his crash. We believe that this pressure was a result of Rossi’s kick. The data acquisition from Marc’s bike is available if anybody from Dorna, the FIM or media want to check.
I know Marc well. He is a good guy, with strong and honest values. Marc was just trying to defend his position, as any rider would do, and we believe him 100%.
We respect the decision of Race Direction and don’t want to pass judgement if the penalty they administered was right or wrong. However, we do believe there was enough evidence to allow them to take a decision during the race, it was not necessary to wait until the end.
Marquez says he has never experienced anything like his recent troubles with Rossi.
During my career I have had many battles, but I never have I felt this. On that corner Valentino passed me, but then I saw he was completely straight and looking at me and stopping a lot. I was just waiting because there was nothing to do at that point and then I saw with his leg he pushed my arm and my front brake, and then I locked the front wheel and crashed.
In response to the accusation of deliberately interfering in the title battle in recent races:
You know I don’t want to be involved more in the championship. Valentino surprised everybody [with his comments], but I didn’t consider that because I just did my weekend [at Phillip Island]. Of course we can fight, we can overtake, we can have small contact, but in [Malaysia] until that moment we never had contact. I don’t know how inside the helmet you can think to push out another rider with your leg. I’ve never seen that. OK, I am very young, but I am disappointed.
Yamaha issues a statement refuting claims made by Honda that Rossi kicked Marquez.
Yamaha would like to express its disagreement with the words that have been used to report on the incident between riders Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez. Both press releases included words that accuse Valentino Rossi of kicking Marc Marquez‘s bike that is something not proven by the investigation of the Race Direction.We therefore reject the wording used in the said published statements that do not correspond with the findings of the Race Direction. Yamaha has no wish to enter into further discussion regarding this unfortunate affair and our desire is to conclude the 2015 MotoGP season in the best possible way. We go to Valencia with the clear intention of trying our best to win what we hope will be a memorable final race with all riders and teams competing in an exemplary sportsmanlike manner befitting the top category of motorcycle racing.
Rossi will start the final MotoGP race of the season in Valencia from the back of the grid after his penalty is confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). FIM confirms the ruling, but says that the denied request was for the stay of execution, and that there is the possibility that the penalty could be revoked later, but only after it has been served. CAS:
[The arbitration board] found that the conditions to grant the stay were not met, which means that the sanction imposed by FIM, the sport’s ruling body, will have to be served at the next grand prix in Valencia.
When you start last, it’s very difficult to prepare strategies. You have to work well in practice and be competitive and have good pace. For sure when you start last, the risks are a lot more. [The title] depends on me and if I’m strong and fast enough to be able to recover. The answer of the CAS has not arrived yet, today it was just that I have to start last in this race because they need time to decide. We have to wait and see, but the important thing is I have to start last.
After coming fifth in FP1 and fourth in FP2, Rossi says he is relaxed about Valencia practice.
I’m not working any differently; we did something very similar to what we always do. I’m very relaxed and I’m quite happy with today’s two practice sessions because my pace in the morning wasn’t bad and I was pretty competitive with the used tyres. I’m also pleased that in the afternoon we tried something different that allowed me to up the pace and improve my lap times. I used the hard tyres, which wasn’t so bad, and after I tried the soft to make a comparison and make the right choice for Sunday. If we do a good job with the set-up that could make things less difficult, but Valencia is a tough track for making up ground because it’s pretty narrow. On top of that, we’re not especially quick on the straights, our top speed isn’t that high, so we have to work hard in other areas, like the braking, to get the set-up right…The start is vital in MotoGP. It accounts for, say, 80% of the race, but Sunday will be a bit different for me, because I’ll have traffic ahead of me and I’ll have to have the energy and momentum to keep up the pace from beginning to end.
Despite starting from the back of the grid, Rossi takes 4th place in Valencia. Jorge Lorenzo finishes first, in front of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, denying Rossi the 2015 MotoGP World Championship.
Rossi says he was denied his win by a Spanish ‘stitch-up’’. Rossi say Lorenzo is a deserving champion but he could not understand why Honda should want to see a Yamaha rider win. He accuses Márquez of being a ‘biscottone’ – an expression used in football when two teams play out a mutually beneficial draw to the detriment of another – but said he expected no less.
I did what I could but it was a strange situation having Márquez as the bodyguard of Lorenzo. It is embarrassing for the sport. Hopefully the sport’s authorities will be able to sort it out. It is an ugly end to what has been an attractive championship. It has not been a true championship and this should not happen in sport.
Márquez responds that it is ‘a lack of respect’ to suggest he had not tried to win:
I always give everything and I know there will be people that will say that I have been second because I wanted Lorenzo to win.
Lorenzo, however, says that the Spaniards may have helped each other:
The fact that they knew what I was going for and that they are Spanish has helped me and in another race they may have tried everything to overtake. Dani did well because he could have tried a crazy overtake. We are Spanish and the title remains in Spain. If it had been in Italy and with two Italians behind Rossi then it would have been the same.
Rossi tests out the 2016 Yamaha M1 with new electronics and Michelin tires at Valencia. His best time of 1’32.401 puts him in twelfth place.
It‘s a big change and it will be interesting, especially the tyre will make a big difference for next year. A lot changed, especially the setting, the weight distribution of the bike and everything. It looks like our competitors are a little ahead, because they‘ve made more kilometres with the Michelin, but it‘s just the first day. I also tried the new electronics and also that, as I expected, was quite a big step because it‘s like going a little bit into the past. However, that too could be interesting and it‘s only the first day, we have a lot to work on. The rear tyre is very similar and Michelin is good, it has very good grip. The front is the big difference.
Rossi ends the two-day Valencia test in seventh overall after adjusting the settings of his bikes to match the Michelin tyres. He clocks a personal best lap of 1’31.498 on lap 57.
The second day, for us, was quite positive. It was a long day, I did a lot of laps and I tried to improve my feeling with the new tyres. I‘m quite happy because in the afternoon my lap times were not so bad. I did long runs to understand the tyres and I was always quite fast. We improved the bike a lot compared to yesterday and the tyres, especially the front gave a better feedback and this is the most important. We also worked a little bit on the electronics systems for next year, which has already improved a lot compared to yesterday, but we still have work to do.
According to Italian website, Corriere della Sera, Rossi has decided to end his business ties with Marquez. Beginning next year, the VR46 Store, will no longer manage Marquez’s MM93 merchandise. The Tavullian company owned by Rossi manages the merchandise of 20 riders and hails an annual turnover of 12.5 million euros. Next year, another company will be dealing with the sale of t-shirts, caps and other novelty MM93 products.
Speaking to italian reporters, Rossi says that it will take months to get over his World Championship loss.
Honestly on Sunday after the race it hurt but it’s a different situation as there is lots of adrenaline. On Monday instead it was tough and yesterday [Tuesday], too, it was quite a struggle. Today [Wednesday] it has been a bit better, but it’s something, a situation, that will take months to – not forget it, because you’ll never forget it – but to come to terms with.
He also questions Honda cancelling its press conference:
I’m curious to see Honda’s telemetry. Oh, they haven’t shown it? Strange! I’d like to figure out how they think they can demonstrate through telemetry that I had kicked him. This is something you should ask them. Poor guys, they wanted to show it but for the good of motorcycle racing they won’t…
Motogp.com releases a video of Rossi’s lap of honor, after the Valencia GP.
Repsol Honda team principal, Livio Suppo, comments on how Marquez should deal with the situation.
Go on holiday and relax. I think there’s nothing really we can add, especially Marc. If people believe him we are happy, if they don’t I think ‘time is a gentleman’ [an Italian phrase that can mean ‘time is a healer’ or ‘the truth will come out’]. I’m just so sad for what happened on Sunday [at Valencia] because I know that Marc really wanted to win this race. And when I saw him in parc ferme, I’ve never seen him so disappointed. Because he is a clever guy – you must be stupid to do deliberately what happened on Sunday…If you think seriously, with no pressure, you understand that it is crazy for Marc not trying to beat Jorge. Even if Marc finished in front of Jorge with Dani in third, Jorge was still world champion with the same points [as Rossi]. That would probably be even better, because this championship was deserved by both of them [Rossi and Lorenzo] and it would then have been decided only by different race wins.
He also says he has a lot of respect for Rossi.
I met Valentino coming back from Indy I think, in the lounge at the airport, and I said honestly I have more respect now than I have 10 years ago. Because what he’s done this season – it doesn’t matter if he won the championship or not – has been unbelievable; 36 years old, coming from the 500 and still able to fight with the young guns that are riding in a totally different way. And this year to beat almost all of them and lose the championship by only five points has been really unbelievable. Of course we cannot be happy with the situation that has been created by the words of Valentino, starting from the Sepang press conference. I really hope Valentino will understand that Honda and Marc are not against him. We just try to do our championship and if he thinks differently I’m very sorry, but it’s not like that.
Yamaha’s Jarvis says that Rossi was “destroyed” by his situation.
When you put in all this energy and strive for the title every day until the last lap, and then you see the target vanish, you find yourself destroyed. Understandably, Valentino was completely empty. The best thing for him would have been to have months to recover and find a new motivation. But on the second day of testing, he had a different expression; he had rediscovered his enthusiasm. It was what we hoped to see…In [the last] three weeks [of the season], all the MotoGP riders, teams, organisers, came under stress: small cracks have widened dramatically. It’s important that Dorna and the FIM can review and analyse what happened, and then make the necessary changes. If the season starts without finding solutions, without discussing it appropriately, then everything will be very difficult.
Lorenzo says he expects his relationship with Rossi to recover.
Valentino has been always very clever speaking to the media and sometimes you don’t have completely the reason, but he expressed his opinions. You have to understand it as best as possible. It’s normal that the relationship gets a little bit tenser and especially after Sepang, where he expressed his opinion and I expressed my opinion, the situation did get a little bit more tense. I think the past will forget everything and everything in the future will come again into normality.
He also says he is proud of his win.
It makes me very proud to spend six or seven years finishing in first or second, but it also makes me very proud to be champion, fighting and competing against three generation of champions. Like Marc who is younger, Casey who is the same age as me, and Valentino who is older.
Ecclestone says, if it was F1, that Rossi would have been disqualified.
Rossi would have been disqualified for sure. Or he would have been shown the black flag. [The situation between Rossi and Marquez] is a warning for F1. I’ll give you an example: let’s suppose Ferrari is en route for the title and Mercedes block them with one of their customer teams, what would happen then?
On whether Rossi could have switched to F1 (he tested for Ferrari) from MotoGP.
In bikes he was at the top as far as importance and earnings are concerned, while in F1 he would have had to start from scratch. He did the right thing in not switching.
MotoGP and Italian game developer Milestone, announce the official 2016 MotoGP video game, Valentino Rossi: The Game. The game will allow players to retrace Rossi’s career from its beginnings to the present day, take control of a Rally car and let loose on various tracks such as the Monza Rally, participate in thrilling Flat Track races and discover the Valentino Rossi Ranch. The game is scheduled for release in June 2016 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Rossi:
I’m happy to announce that I’ll participate in the making of Valentino Rossi The Game, along with the guys at Milestone. We chose to include both the most important elements of my MotoGP career, and all the extra circuit stuff that are so important to me, like Ranch, Rally and more. It will be fun to approach the game not only as a gamer, but also as a ‘test driver’. I’ll work with the development team to make sure all fans will get the best experience they ever had.
Milestone has been developing MotoGP for a few years, but the experience we are going to offer all motorcycle racing and Valentino fans this year is quite simply unique. Players can grapple with the entire 2016 official championship, but most of all they can experience the passion, professionalism and experience of Valentino Rossi, both in and out of the championship, with exclusive rally and flat track content, as well as much more that only the number 46 can offer.
Rossi ends the second last day of the Monster Energy Monza Rally with a 33.6s lead over the competition at the Italian rally event, which cuts across the Monza national park and the Grand Prix circuit. There are still two final stages remaining on the last day. If Rossi wins, it will be his fourth time to win the event.
Monza is always a great moment and a great way to finish the season because I get great enjoyment from it this year and this year I am in front so I am happy. For a long, long time I’ve returned to this rally because I like this event. You have the thrill of the race but less pressure than in MotoGP so I can enjoy it. I can drive this car which is fantastic. Also in our team we have Brivio and Uccio, so it always good fun.
Rossi wins his fourth Monza Rally, beating Roberto Brivio by 4.8 seconds, and Thierry Neuville by 13.4 seconds in the fourth stage. Neuville comes second overall in the rally.
The season finished in Valencia, the real one, but my season finishes after the Rally of Monza. Also in November I try to fix all my things and this one is like at the end of my season. From Monday morning I will be on my real holidays. Monza is always a great moment and a great way to finish the season.
In an interview with CNN, Marquez, who is hosting a training camp for 20 young riders, says he understands Rossi’s situation:
The relationship with Valentino was really good until Thursday (before) Malaysia. I think there he created so much more of what was not natural, not good for motorcycling…The problem is that too many people start to speak about the situation. (When we arrived) in Valencia, I say ‘Please we need to win the race because if not … he will complain.’ Lorenzo did the fastest lap, the record of the circuit, the record of the total laps … I couldn’t pass him, I couldn’t win; but you know for me the target was to win the race and that was the best way to finish the season.
I already said in Valencia to Valentino, ‘My hand is here,’ and I want the best for motorcycling, and I think the best thing is to be in a good relationship with him. [But] at that moment (in Valencia) he had just lost the championship, and he was really worn. I understand the situation, so I don’t want to think a lot about what he said, but I hope that 2016 will be a new season, a new relationship and (we) try to forget all these things.
In an interview with Autosport, Rossi is asked about his age:
If you check the history of human beings, between 36 and 37 is not a big difference. Next year I can go more or else at the same pace. But it depends a lot on the motivation, the match of the Yamaha with the Michelins, our work and everything else. Next year will be another story, and I will try as always.
Yamaha Racing release images of Rossi and Lorenzo in new team livery. The design is almost identical to last season (barring a few stickers), with 2016 the third year of title sponsorship by Movistar.
FIM and Honda Racing say that data from the Rossi/Marquez clash at Sepang will not be released. The data relates to claims by Honda that Rossi kicked Marquez, causing the Spaniard to fall. FIM President Ippolito:
In MotoGP, the dispute was brought before the CAS and the case is now closed. It is true that at the end of the season the polemics around the Rossi-Marquez case swelled to unprecedented levels. For that reason, we asked all the people involved, including the teams, to refrain from engaging in controversy about what happened in Sepang.During the last competition in Valencia, team Honda informed us that they had all the telemetry relating to the incident. Now the data are in our hands, and Honda and the FIM have decided together not to release them so as not to fuel further polemics.
Yamaha releases a video of Rossi during Sepang testing.
Rossi thinks the 2016 MotoGP YZR-M1 Yamaha’s setup is now too radical for the Michelin tyres which have improved greatly since the last test at Valencia, preferring a version closer to his 2015 setup. Rossi also has a standard 2015 bike to ride.
One bike is the 2015 and I make some lap for the feeling. And after we have two bike, one more similar to the 2015 and one more modified. Today I concentrate on the bike more similar to the 2015 because of time because we have to work on electronic especially. I try the other one one time and the feeling was not so bad but at this moment I don’t know if it is better. The Michelin has improved already and that bike was for the old Michelin so I don’t know now if we need that bike or not.
The company in charge of image rights for Marc and Alex Marquez confirms their merchandise will no longer be produced and distributed by Rossi’s VR46 Racing Apparel company. The Marquez brothers are tipped to move their merchandising to Gruppo Pritelli.
AC Management, company in charge of managing the image rights of the riders Marc Márquez and Alex Márquez, informs that they have agreed with the Company VR46 Racing Apparel, S.r.l. to terminate the license agreements previously in force and under which the latter was in charge of the exploitation of both riders’ merchandising. Both parties appreciate services rendered while the agreement was in force and wish each other success in future endeavors.
Rossi says he will continue in MotoGP until the end of 2018 if he elects to race beyond the end of this season.
At the end of 2016 my contract will expire. So I will have to decide whether to continue for another two seasons or not. If I continue, it will be for two seasons as all the contracts are for two years. It will be like 2014 when I said I will look at it after the first few races. You have to look at the first five or six races then start thinking.
Movistar releases a video tribute for Rossi’s 37th birthday.
Rossi improves his performance on the second day of testing, finishing fourth.
Yesterday I did just 7-8 laps, but the first impression was bad and I was a bit worried. But today, with good conditions, already from this morning I was able to go fast and have a good feeling. It is different to ride [with Michelins], but at the same time I like it. It is very funny. This is important. It was a good day from beginning to end. I always stayed [near the top]. At the end I am fourth, but the distance from first position is very close and also I didn’t put new tyres at the end. We will see tomorrow if we can improve. Also the good thing is that we always made progress, step-by-step. We improved quite a lot.
Rossi also says that he is getting used to the balance of his Michelin tires.
For me the front is still a little bit worse compared to Bridgestone but the rear is better. So on balance it is very similar.
After setting the fifth-fastest time on the final test day at Phillip Island, Rossi says he will stick with a Yamaha YZR-M1 based on the 2015 bike, rather than developing the ’16 version.
In the end we only had one good day and that was yesterday, but it’s better than nothing. Today we continued our job for a bit, especially we compared the two different bikes and I think we will use the bike that’s more similar to last year’s model. It was a positive test, especially yesterday, but also today. I feel good with the bike and with the tyres and my pace was not so bad, so I’m quite satisfied.
Rossi appears in a Yamaha Aerox 125 LC commercial for the Indonesian and other South-Eastern Asian markets.
It’s all about the man behind the bike.
Yamaha agrees to a three-year partnership agreement with the VR46 Riders Academy to become and official partner and bike supplier. Yamaha will supply 26 R-Series and YZ series motorcycles for Academy riders to train and develop their racing skills at the VR46 MotoRanch and also at the Misano road race circuit. Rossi:
The partnership between Yamaha and VR46 makes me very happy and incredibly proud. Through the Academy we have been doing very interesting things for young and talented riders and I believe we couldn‘t have found a better partner than Yamaha to provide our guys everything they need to grow up quickly and improve their performances on track.
The Academy started as a natural development of Valentino‘s incredible passion for motorcycling and racing when he committed himself to supporting the next generation of riders to develop their talent and skills to become future World Championship racers… This new program will give a unique opportunity for selected talented riders to train and learn from “the Master” and from the full-time VR46 Riders Academy riders during the 2 one-week dedicated training sessions.
Rossi’s Qatar MotoGP test gets off to a bad start when he falls on his out lap. He recovers and finishes in third place, 0.442s behind Jorge Lorenzo and 0.014s from Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales.
I started in a bad way, because after ten corners I crashed. I wasn’t very fast, but maybe because I had too much angle and the rear slid. But fortunately it was just a small slide at 70 km/h. It wasn’t a big problem but to start like this wasn’t fantastic… After, we jumped on the other bike and I’m quite satisfied about today because, also here in Qatar, it looks like our bike is competitive. We can be strong and fast and this is the most important thing, because it’s already the third track where the Yamaha is competitive. We also started with a good base set-up, in fact I didn’t work a lot on it. I felt good from the first moment, rode quite fast and I was able to consistently improve my lap times and in the end I’m in the third position, so it was a good day.
Rossi comes fifth in testing at Losail, Qatar, with a time of 1m 55.947s. Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales leads with 1m 55.436s.
The second day was OK, I worked a lot and did a lot of laps because we have quite a lot of work to do. In the end my performance was not fantastic in the lap and the position because I‘m a little bit worse compared to yesterday, but in reality we didn‘t do a real time attack because we tried to save some tyres because it‘s important for tomorrow. We don‘t have a lot of tyres, so we’re trying to manage. I think Friday will be very important for trying to understand our potential in a better way and especially for trying to improve the lap time and also for making a long run and try to understand our pace.
After crashing on his out lap, Rossi finishes third in the final day of Qatar testing, improving on his fastest time on the first day by nearly half a second to post a best time of 1‘55.429s, o.5s behind the leader, teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Rossi’s combined times for the three days leaves him fifth overall.
In the end I‘m quite happy. Unfortunately I had another crash in the same corner, but it was a small one and I was able with the team to try everything. In the last hour and a half we improved the setting and I had quite a strong pace and did a good time attack. The lap time is not so bad and more importantly I did a race simulation and I was strong. I think that it will be quite tough, because it seems that from the first test the other bikes improved a lot, but now we are there at their level. I think a lot of riders can be fast for the first Grand Prix, but we are competitive…I think the last five laps of the race will be difficult for everybody, but the bike is good to ride, so we‘re able to keep a good pace
Cycleworld.com profiles Rossi’s VR46 Academy, where 11 young riders are tought the “Valentino Method,” which combines scientific precision, passion and fun. The school, which is supported by Yamama, has a 1.8 mile dirt-track, which was built based on Rossi’s father’s intuition that training on dirt improves bike control skills. dirt track to improve his skills controlling the bike. The track has left and right turns, and changes of elevation, and there are already plans to make it bigger, build a jump, and possibly open it to the public. Students learn, race, and discuss their day’s results over a “grigliata,” a typical barbecue. Rossi:
The target is to raise young Italian talent and give them an opportunity to shine.
Hamilton declares himself a fan of Rossi:
I really need to try a MotoGP bike because MotoGP is so cool and more exciting to watch I would say and is closer racing. Valentino is incredible and is my favourite as he is for a lot of people. There are also a lot of other great riders and I definitely want to make it to more races this year as I’ve only been to one a season. This year I will try and make it to more and I’m dying to get on the back of one [bike] at least. I just won’t tell my team!
In an interview with Motosprint, Rossi says he had no choice but to speak out against Marquez after Sepang 2015.
I have thought long and hard on what had happened. I also thought that perhaps it would have been better not to do it, but I had to, because I had realised that I was screwed. It would have been already difficult to beat Lorenzo in a normal situation, but when Marquez went against me, I realised I got screwed. With that press conference, more than trying to intimidate Marquez, I tried to call for the attention of race direction, in order to sort out this thing. We had tried to talk to race direction, but they didn’t listen to us, so I tried this other way. I think they underestimated the problem, because what happened is something no one had expected: I didn’t, and neither did they, so when we told them, they looked at us wondering ‘what’s behind this?’ It could have been avoided by talking together in Malaysia.
While he expects to maintain a working relationship with Lorenzo, Rossi still wonders about Marquez’s tactics.
It was completely clear what his intentions were, with the Valencia race [when Marquez finished second to Lorenzo] being the cherry on top. Anyway… it is not very important, in the sense that our relationship, after what had happened, can never be restored. We’ll have to be only rivals, but I would like us to be able to focus on that, more than on nonsense such as ‘let’s shake hands, let’s not. I prefer doing real things, that’s the way.