Rossi talks about the upcoming British GP at Silverstone,
I have very nice recent memories of Silverstone. Last year I won a really incredible race in very difficult conditions. I hope that this year there will be nice weather, but from the climatic point of view the English race is very uncertain. I like Silverstone a lot, it’s a very fun track but also very demanding. This circuit is very long and there are many changes of direction with high speeds. It is important to find a perfect set-up for the bike to be able to suit both the slow and the fast corners. We will try to work on all aspects, as we have been doing the entire season to get the best possible result.
Rossi says he wants to race with a new Yamaha chassis and swingarm following 60 test laps (equivalent to four race lengths) at Brno.
In the end it was a good day. This morning everybody was a little bit sad because the condition of the track look quite bad. And when I entered the track – we decided to go anyway because we had some important things to test – the lap time was quite high. But after, when 4-5-8 bikes were on track, it cleaned and for the last two hours it was a very good test. A very good level. Because we can push, go fast. Also the time attack at the end was not so bad. But especially I like the new stuff. We tried a lot of different things, especially a different chassis and different swingarm. And I like. The feeling with the bike improved and I can enter the corner faster. I also like the bike in braking.
When asked if he had enough races left to catch Marquez, Rossi says:
No – because of too many mistakes, being a little bit unlucky and I’m too far [behind]. And also Marquez this year is not only fast in all of the conditions but he makes always the right choices. So it’s very difficult to close the 53 points. We can be strong and we won’t give up to the end, but I think it’s very difficult. [But] the fight with Lorenzo for second place is very open. It is very important to gain these points and stay in front, but at the same time Lorenzo is very strong, very fast.
Rossi says the first part of his Czech GP was a “nightmare”:
The conditions were very different compared to this morning, this morning there was a lot more water. On the grid there was a little bit of confusion, to understand the tyre choices, [and] if somebody changed. It was a risk, but at the end we tried. Unfortunately we didn’t also put on the hard front, I wasn’t brave enough like Cal. The first laps were a nightmare, I made a mistake a lot of times and everybody overtook me from the outside and the inside. It was difficult. But from one point I understood that maybe it wouldn’t dry enough for a flag-to-flag race, and from that moment I understood that maybe my choice was better [than the soft rear]. Then Cal overtook me and I saw that he was very fast, and I knew that he had the hard, so I just tried to ride well, not make any mistakes and it was great fun, the second half.
Rossi comments on the traffic during Czech GP qualifying. Rossi was fourth after the first runs in qualifying, but was not able to improve on his second run.
I’m not happy because I have to start from the second row. It is a shame I wasn’t able to make one clear lap because we have a better potential – I think we could start from the front row. I started with the harder [front tyre] and I did already [1m]55.5[s] but I knew that I had half-a-second of margin because I could use the soft in the second exit. But unfortunately in the second exit everybody was waiting, I was stuck in the traffic. It was like staying in the centre of Rome, everybody opened the throttle and then was waiting and braking. It was a big disaster, I tried to make a lap but I was in the confusion.
Rossi says riders were not adequately informed about the Czech GP track limits. Including Rossi, seven riders had lap times cancelled in first practice for using a small section of the Brno track surface at the end of the final corner’s exit kerb, which had been deemed off limits. Infringements against eight riders were also recorded in the second session, again including Rossi, with 12 different riders, including Marc Marquez, getting penalties over the course of the day. Riders will ask for the section to be painted red, to make the limit clear.
It was not clear, simply because nobody said anything to us, Usually the track limits is that if you go over the kerb, but in this case a lot of riders had the lap cancelled because the kerb finishes but we still have some asphalt. I understood the situation in the afternoon, so I tried to stay one metre inside, because I didn’t know that after the kerb that asphalt is off of the track.
Rossi comments on his standing, going into the Czech Republisc GP:
It’s still very long because there are eight races and at this moment you can have seven riders who are very strong who can fight for the victory. It depends very much from one track to another, so we have to try to be competitive and try to always be on the top. For us it is a great shame that we already have this disadvantage compared to Marc because we did some mistakes and also we were a bit unlucky. We have a good potential but we are quite far, so at this moment for us we need to do also something extra because we have to go faster but we have always to take points. We have to take it race by race and try to do the maximum because I think from here to the end it will always be a great fight…Also the speed of the Hondas [will be a factor] with Marc but also [Dani] Pedrosa, who is very strong in Brno, so all the top guys are in good shape. It’s a great track, I like it a lot and it is the race of my first victory, which is something unforgettable.
Rossi says he is ‘curious’ to discover if he can match Jorge Lorenzo’s pace at Brno in the Czech Republic GP.
I like that we go back on track immediately. In Austria I wanted to get on the podium but I wasn’t able to so unfortunately. Anyway, it was a good race. After the tests we were a little bit in trouble but during the race we didn’t do so badly. Now we go to Brno, a track that we know well and that I like very much. Last year Jorge was much faster than me and I’m curious to see if this year I will do better. We are working well and the Brno GP is close. I want to get back on track.
Rossi says he supports the introduction of a MotoGP dashboard messaging system in 2017. The ‘virtual boarding’ system under development lets teams to send pitboard-style messages to a rider’s dashboard. Testing is slated to start at the Aragon round next month.
It’s good, I like it. During the race, especially in flag-to-flag, it can be a help. Also it can be good for safety – if you have a crash in front, or a yellow flag, or some people have a problem with the engine and there’s oil. Also because I always make the wrong decision! Maybe with the message in the dashboard it’s more easy.
Roosi comments on closing the gap with Marc Marquez.
I’m very happy, because I recovered two points, so if we have 100 races, I can win the championship! Apart from jokes, it’s good to arrive in front of Marquez and we have to try to continue like this. For sure, in other tracks, the situation will change, but we have to try to stay always fast and take as many points as possible. It’s difficult to win a lot of points over Marquez, but the championship is very long so we have to try for maximum, also for second place [in the standings].
After finishing FP2 in fourth — 0.866s back of pace setter Andrea Dovizioso, and 0.6s off Andrea Iannone — Rossi says that he is concentrating on Ducati slipstream and fuel.
We have to just give the maximum, try to fix all the small details to go a bit faster on the straight. But you know, is very difficult to go faster on the straight. You can try to exit faster from the corner, but on the straight, the level is what it is. But you never know. It’s just Friday, we have Saturday, and especially the race is always different. It depends very much if we are able to keep the slipstream of the Ducati. The Ducati have a lot of horsepower, but what they are able to do better compared to the Yamaha and Honda is less wheelie. For this reason, they are very fast in acceleration. Because it looks like the bike accelerates more with less wheelie on the front. So for this reason it’s very difficult. It’s too early to say if we can fight with Ducatis. For me, for sure is more more important [Jorge] Lorenzo and [Marc] Márquez than the Ducati, but I don’t want to start just for third place. It’s too early. We have to try to stay with them. Also because 28 laps are very long.
Rossi says his relationship with Marquez has improved.
I think that after what happened, all the rest becomes not very important. Very very small. I think it’s the right thing to do. Our relationship has improved since Montmelo.
Rossi says he is concerned about Turn 8 of the Austrian GP at Spielberg. Organisers took the decision to modify the final corner, Turn 10, by making the track narrower to reduce the risk of a serious accident by distancing the riders from the outside wall.
This track is very fast, and when a track is fast it’s always dangerous. Especially the exit of Turn 8 remains very dangerous. On a normal lap, you go through it quite easily, but it’s [taken at] very high speed and the wall is quite close. This for me is the most dangerous point that we have to try to improve in the next years.
Rossi talks about the Austrian GP track at Spielberg, where he had his first podium on the international finish, in 1997, as a 17-year-old.
It is a wonderful memory, my first podium was great and I could not have imagined what followed it. The track is similar to 20 years ago, when I raced with the 125, but the asphalt is new and has very good grip, it is very flat with no bounce. The track is so fast. I think it’s different to the other ones because you stay on the throttle for a lot of time, so maybe it will create a different kind of race.
On his challenges in the remaining season:
The gap of 59 points is hard to make back. In the last few races we have lost many points but we have to be strong and have the concentration to always get on the podium. The distance [to Marquez] is almost irretrievable. I will concentrate on these nine races and try to make more points than in the first half. We are starting an important moment of the season, because we have four races in five weeks and also five races in seven weeks. It’s good, because after Barcelona we had a long stop from one race to the other. That is not fantastic, and after the summer break I prefer it like this.
Rossi says the impact of MotoGP’s new-for-2016 tyres and control electronics on bike set-up has been smaller than he anticipated.
We tested three or four times with the Michelin tyres last year and this gave us a lot of worries because we were slow, we crashed, we didn’t have feeling with the front. Yamaha worked to develop a [new] bike that is quite different compared to the year before with the Bridgestone, with the different weight distribution and the [fuel] tank on the rear. But the Michelin tyres improved a lot, especially the front and at the end, essentially we are using a very similar set-up compared to Bridgestone, and this is good. With the electronics, we expected a big revolution, a big step back, but at the end it was a half-step back. The bike that I am using now is very similar to last year.
After his poor results in Assen and Germany, Rossi says he supports pit-to-bike radio communication.
It’s not Formula One, but for sure now if we can have direct communication with the pit box it can be a lot more easy. Sometimes with the pit board it is difficult, for example if you take Assen, if they say to me that I have already two seconds of advantage, I just have to slow down and I can avoid the mistake. So if it’s possible have a radio, I don’t know why we don’t have. Maybe the cost, but can be important to have yes.
However, Marc Marquez disagrees, saying he cannot imagine leaning into a corner at 200 miles per hour and somebody speaking.
Rossi improves from ninth to fifth on the final day of MotoGP testing at the Red Bull Ring, in Austria. The race will take place August 12-14.
I raced here in ’96-’97 – a lifetime ago! – but the track was the same and it’s a great feeling [to be back]…It is a particular type of track. Very, very fast and you stay a lot of time at full throttle. There are just nine corners but sincerely speaking I like the track and it’s good to ride. But unfortunately on the performance side it is not our track, because usually we suffer a bit with top speed and in the straight we lose quite a lot. We were able to improve the lap times and our position today and we’re a little bit closer to the top guys. But it will be a very difficult race, especially with some of our factory rivals; they are faster than us.
Marquez says that Rossi is still a factor in the Championship.
Jorge is at the moment the strongest one, because he is the closest one in the championship. He is second and will be really strong in the second half of the season, so we need to take care about him. But also not forget Valentino, [the gap’s] far but not far enough. Like we saw last races, he was very strong, and it will be hard to manage this distance.
Rossi says he is confident of success at the German GP.
I really want to get back on track. Over these last few days I‘ve rested at home, but now I want to leave for the race at Sachsenring. In Assen we worked well throughout the weekend and we were really fast, both in wet and dry conditions, but the race was not very lucky for us. At the Sachsenring circuit we will have to work well as we have been doing during all weekends this season. We are fast and I‘m comfortable with the YZR-M1 and with the Michelin tyres. I like this track and Sunday I will do my best to make it a good race.
Rossi says the high number of crashes in rainy conditions in MotoGP this year will be reduced once Michelin can develop its wet-weather tyres.
With the wet tyres, Michelin right now is where it was with the slicks back in March. After that they worked and improved a lot on the front tyre. With the wet tyres they are behind schedule. These tyres have a lot of grip on the rear and very little on the front, exactly the opposite to the Bridgestones we had last year.We were used to putting a lot of pressure on the front end and that’s why now, as soon as we push the Michelins, we are asking too much of them and the front shuts down.
The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp riders spend the day on the nearby Misano circuit for some asphalt laps on Yamaha YZF-R3 bikes. The pupils ride against Rossi, the VR46 Academy Riders and other guests, before being given some clear track time for themselves in a timed practice session.
Again another great day together with the riders of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp. This time we found ourselves at the Misano World Circuit, and these were three hours of very intensive training. Some of the VR46 Academy riders have followed the Asian riders on the track and at the end of the day I saw them riding really well. I too have crossed some of them on the track during training and I was impressed with how well they are picking up on our teachings. [Friday] is the last day of Master Camp. We will end this very exciting week in a really nice way: on track with minibikes!
Rossi says he feels more competitive than in 2015.
The important thing is to be strong and fast on Sunday afternoon at 2pm. This is what I’ve been thinking all my career. Last year I fought for the championship to the last race but sometimes in the race I wasn’t fast like Lorenzo and Marquez. This year it looks like I’m stronger even if it looks like I have less points. It’s a good moment, I like my bike, the Yamaha is very competitive, I like a lot the Michelin tyre because it’s something I used a lot growing up, so it’s something very familiar. I think we are there at the same level, very fast like Marquez and Lorenzo, but at the same time also [Dani] Pedrosa, [Maverick] Vinales and [Andrea] Iannone are very strong…But there is still 11 races to go, so the important thing is to work and try the maximum.
Rossi is spotted at Misano wearing an Arai Ram 4, camouflaged as an AGV one, with stickers on top, based on the design he used last year. Rossi has always been associated with AGV. The Japanese manufacturer spread the photos through social media.
Rosis says he is hoping to meet Verstappen at the Netherlands GP in Assen.
I always follow Formula One. Max Verstappen is a driver who I have followed since his time in go-karts, where he won several titles and showed how strong he was right away. It’s amazing what he has done and he is still very young. His speed is incredible and what he did in the race in Barcelona was fantastic. He had a bit of luck because of the collision between the Mercedes of Hamilton and Rosberg, but that shouldn’t detract from what he did. If I can meet him in Assen at the Dutch GP, then I would be really happy!
Following the death of Luis Salom, Rossi says that MotoGP will never be safe.
If I thought a little bit I could give to you a minimum of 10 corners, Motegi, Turn 4, for example. It’s something where every year we go and we say ‘we need more run-off.’ You check the situation. You cannot extend the run-off area, this is the reality,” he added. During the season you have a lot of points where if something happened with the bike you don’t have enough space. I remember in Jerez some years ago, Roberto Locatelli had the accident at the exit of Turn 10. The steering was stuck to the left and he went into the wall on the left in a place that is straight. In a place where it’s straight, it’s impossible to have 100 metres of run-off area. We’d have to race in the desert. Maybe Qatar is the only place where that’s OK, [but Marc] Marquez tried a start this year and he locked the front and he went to the left. It’s very difficult to have 100% safety. Unfortunately it’s something that you cannot fix.
After post-race testing Rossi says that a new chassis could be used in the Netherlands GP. After evaluating some new Michelin rear tyres, Rossi runs once on the new frame. Testing will continue through Tuesday.
The first impression was good. Tomorrow with more time I will test the chassis more deeply. Tomorrow can be an important day because we have some interesting things; the chassis, the swingarm… some things like this arriving from Yamaha. So it will be interesting to understand if we are able to improve a bit. What you expect from a new chassis is more a less then same: Try to make the corner fastest usually. This is the target!
Marquez and Rossi shake hands after the race.
Rossi says that Turn 12, where Salom died, has been discussed by the riders over the years.
We spoke about turn twelve in the Safety Commission for six years. We say that we need more run off area. Unfortunately there is some work that you can do and some that you can’t. Because of the grandstand… It’s very expensive to modify this area. We already know it was dangerous there. But if you look at the crash unfortunately something happened on the bike.
We already know [turn 12 is dangerous] because two years ago [Niccolo] Antonelli crash. Fortunately he didn’t have any physical problem but he arrived in the protection so we put in more air fence.
Unfortunately something very bad happened that reminds us of the risk of our sport. It was another crash and another problem. During the season you have occasions that if something happens on the bike there is not enough space. The crash of Salom was not normal…I don’t know. Something in the steering, something in the throttle, something on the brake. Turn twelve is very demanding on the front and you have a lot of bumps. Every lap is a lot of risk but usually you exit from the previous right. You hit second, third [gear], you enter and usually the normal crash is 35-40 metres later. You go on the right. If you open the angle and go on the right you have a lot more space. But Salom unfortunately go straight. He arrived at one speed that was unnatural. He didn’t slow down.
Yamaha engineers say that a software malfunction caused Lorenzo and Rossi’s engines to overrev and be destroyed. The team says that there were no changes made in the usual setup, and the entire blame lies with the spec software that didn’t behave as expected.
Valentino‘s failure was caused by an accidental over rev in acceleration that occurred jumping over a crest with full throttle at the end of the straight. This failure was not in any way related to the mistake made by Valentino at the San Donato corner on the lap before. There were no special mapping settings used for Mugello; we used the same precise mapping as always. We have now withdrawn both engines from the allocation for the season. We have learnt from this incident and already modified the rev limiter setting, so it will be OK in Catalunya. As a precautionary measure, the other engines used by both Valentino and Jorge in Mugello will be used only for practice sessions, until their life cycles are completed…We have already devised a countermeasure, so we are confident that the failures in Mugello will not recur.
Rossi says he is ready for the Catalunya Grand Prix.
The race is held at one of my favourite tracks. I like the circuit a lot as well as the atmosphere. I think that I can have a good potential to do a good race. I’m coming to Spain with the knowledge that I’m able to be fast, but also with regret for what would have been a great race at Mugello. The most important thing is that we were very fast on Sunday thanks to the work we did during the weekend. In Barcelona we have to work in the same way and get ready to race.
Rossi says that the engine failure at the Italian GP has hurt his chances of winning the title.
This year I am faster, I am more competitive. In the practice every time I am stronger but unfortunately I made a mistake in Austin, but Lorenzo and Marquez also made mistakes. But unfortunately this one’s very heavy. It was from Misano 2007 that my bike [last] broke in the race. But it can happen. I think that there was something wrong with both engines between Lorenzo and me, but the bigger difference is that Lorenzo’s happened in the warm-up and mine happened in the race. It’s a great shame also for the championship because I take the zero and also Lorenzo and Marquez arrived first and second, so now the distance from the top is 37 points. It’s very bad, it’s quite a big gap but the beautiful thing, the good thing, the positive aspect is that I was fast, I was strong. I was very, very fast in the race.
Yamaha say that the most likely cause for the Rossi and Lorenzo engine failures was the undulation on the main straight of the Italian circuit. At that point, the rear tyre – spinning at around 380 km/h in the air – loses grip, leading to an increase in revs per minute for the engine. Rossi’s engine failed after only 500km. Source:
That, combined with this year’s electronics, which are less sophisticated and precise, probably had an influence in the ignition cut-off…Valentino was running behind Jorge all the time, and that probably meant he had no clean air to cool down the engine.. Running in his slipstream meant Rossi’s bike reached speeds it had not managed during the weekend.
Silvano Galbusera, Rossi’s crew chief says that Yamaha are still investigating the cause of Rossi’s engine blowout at the Italian GP. Rossi told Galbusera that the last engine that blew was at Misano in 2007. Galbusera also adds that engines that fail to such a degree are not a Yamaha tradition. He also says that Lorenzo’s engine, which blew out in qualifying, had significantly more kilometers than Rossi’s, and that swapping Rossi’s engine before the race and sending the Italian to the grid with a brand new lump would have been even riskier.
It’s bad luck. We removed engines with twice the number of kilometers…We are not are able to understand what happened yet. The engine will be fully analyzed.
In a post-race interview, Rossi says that he was competitive before the engine failure.
Unfortunately on lap six, the bike start to have a problem and the clutch didn’t open, maybe because the engine already start to seize a little bit. It is for that reason that I go wide. But in seven-eight corners I was already back on Lorenzo, because I was a little bit faster, but after the engine broke. It’s a great shame, because it’s always a pity when you have a problem with the bike in the race, but here even more so because it was in Mugello in front of all the crowd. I was very competitive in the race and very fast, I had a good start and I was there. I think I could have fought for the victory because I had a very good feeling and a strong pace. It’s also a great shame because this zero points score for the championship weighs very heavily. Lorenzo and Marquez finished first and second, so now the distance is hard, but it’s like this. But I think this weekend I did my job at the maximum. I ride well, I was always concentrating and I arrived ready for fight for the victory in the race. In English they say ‘shit happens’! This is today. It is like this, but is very important to be strong and try to take from this bad moment extra energy for the next race in Barcelona.
Due to wet conditions Rossi completes a series of practice starts at pit exit, but does not set a time in the morning session. He comes sixth in afternoon practice, 0.644 seconds behind Ducati’s Andrea Iannone, but within two tenths of team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.
Unfortunately this morning we had wet conditions and for going on the track it was quite useless because it was half and half, so not enough for the wet tyres but too damp for the slicks. For the afternoon, we had quite good conditions but it was quite cold and the track didn’t provide fantastic grip after yesterday’s rain. But at the end of practice it was not so bad…But at the same time the first 10 people are very close so for tomorrow we need to try and improve, especially in the second part of the track where I am not very fast…We need to improve and improve the feeling. I don’t have enough rear grip and I have to wait too long to open the throttle and especially with the exit from the last corner, I lose too much. It’s very, very important if I want a chance to fight at the top [in the race], I need to start in the top five. First row is more important, for sure. But also top five is OK.
MotoGP organisers have arranged a bodyguard each for Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix in order to minimise the chance of an incident with Valentino Rossi’s fans. A third security specialist has been assigned to Alex Marquez, Marc’s brother. Whe Rossi is asked if he would make some kind of appeal to try to calm any fan that might want to harm Lorenzo or Marquez.
I didn’t do it, but my fan club did it, which is as if I have said it.
We have asked the German company that provides us with security personnel for access to two more employees. Lorenzo and Marquez will also both have a bodyguard who will be prepared and will have a green light to act if the situation requires it.
Rossi says everything is in place to enable him to win the Italian GP. He set a record of seven back-to-back premier class wins at Mugello from 2002 to 2008 and heads into his home race in strong form following a runner-up finish at Le Mans.
I love Mugello and its atmosphere. It’s very difficult for me to keep my concentration here because there are always so many of my friends and fans around, but the Mugello race is also special for me for that reason. I’ve had some victories here, many great battles and a lot of good memories. I think this year we can be competitive because our bike is good and I’m getting into a good shape. At the Le Mans GP we arrived late at achieving the right set up for the race, at Mugello we will not make this mistake again. I’m relaxed and now I’m ready to try to attain the maximum level of concentration.
Caladora talks about how he came to help Rossi;
I didn’t know him well. One day we met in Misano with the R1. He invited me to the Ranch at Tavullia. Then he asked me to follow him to the Phillip Island test. He asked me if I would be his ‘Boris Becker’ (former number 1 professional tennis player who has helped many current players). I told him that the money was not important, the passion yes. And I told him that the job had to be serious, or it wasn’t worth even to start.
On his style:
I don’t give any advice, I don’t allow myself to say, ‘Do this or do that.’ I think about what I have seen and then speak. Then Valentino decides to use those words as he sees fit. I go around the circuit with my scooter and study the track; I observe. I try to ‘feel’ the circuit and watch how Valentino and the other riders interact with the track. And afterwards, by studying the times, perhaps he can discern whether it is better to use this or that line. It’s not a very technical operation, there is not a hard rule or anything like that. Each time is different. It’s a little ‘artistic’ work, so to speak. And it’s good that way. What is really important is that Valentino and I do stay tuned. Today’s bikes and riders are at the very limit. The difference is one-tenth of a second per lap or less. You win by covering all the details.
On Rossi’s riding style:
He is a Frankenstein rider. As focused as Eddie Lawson, as whimsical as Kevin Schwantz; able to improvise like Wayne Rainey, while being as combative as Mick Doohan. All this with the enthusiasm and the desire of a teenager to improve…I expected to find another type of person. He is a simple, modest, likeable, straightforward guy.
Rossi says he would be happy with either Dani Pedrosa or Maverick Vinales as his Yamaha teammate.
I think that for the second rider, [Yamaha title sponsor] Movistar wants a Spanish rider and Vinales or Pedrosa are the most possible [options]. I don’t know the percentage, one more than the other, you have to speak with Yamaha. But for me, it’s the same. [They are] two very different riders; Pedrosa very, very strong, very fast, already demonstrated his great potential, but a little bit older. Vinales, a great talent, already demonstrated but in MotoGP not a lot of experience. But a lot younger, so it’s a little bit different. For me, essentially, it’s no difference. I have a great relationship with Pedrosa and with Vinales.
Rossi says he wants to beat Lorenzo at Le Mans.
In 2015 I think I ran a positive race. but I wasn’t able to beat Lorenzo. But I’ll try to do it this time. We’ll need to start the weekend as we did at Jerez. Right from Friday we were able to make a good step in order to be competitive. So we must also do our best at Le Mans.
Rossi says he will repeat the strong set-up found at Jerez, while reacting to the notoriously unpredictable weather.
Le Mans is a track where the YZR-M1 usually goes very well. The negative thing about Le Mans is the weather, it is always very uncertain. It can rain, it is often cold and so there are many factors that you must be careful of. Last year I had a good race but I was not able to beat Jorge, I’ll try again this year. First we will start the weekend in the same way as we did in Jerez. There we found a good set-up on Friday and this has helped us to be competitive in the race. We will do our best also in Le Mans.
Yamaha’s Jarvis says Lorenzo will receive the same treatment as Rossi, other than when it starts working on its 2017 MotoGP bike.
For the rest of the season, our mission is the same as his mission. There couldn’t be a better way to conclude this period of Jorge with us going out as champions. We will give our maximum amounts of equal support to Valentino and continue to provide him with development parts throughout the year. Of course if we get to a moment, for instance maybe like [testing after August’s race at] Brno, where we will bring the prototype of the 2017 bike, that’s a different story…It’s only when it gets to being truly something that we will not use this year, then obviously we will restrict the information on that.
Jarvis also says the relationship between Rossi and Lorenzo changed after the Sepang clash with Marquez.
Prior to Sepang, we’d had Jorge and Vale back together for three-and-a-half seasons. Honestly the relationship had been going very well. Of course, they always remained competitors of each other but the team co-existed and we interacted very well and very freely with each other. After Sepang that changed, this is an absolute fact.
Hamilton says that he wants to end his career as successfully as Rossi:
Valentino is towards one of the older riders now, but he still has the ability to be at the top. He still has the ability to do so, and so I hope that I am in the similar position towards the end of my career.
I do. Generally when I think about it, I have this three-year contract. I am hoping that I have another three or four years after that. However, he is well aware of how hard it is to pick the right moment to walk away – and says that more success in the future would only likely encourage him to stay rather than provide the perfect opportunity to quit at the top. We all are greedy, we always want more. You know that you have just won the championship, you still feel healthy, you still feel fit. Plus you know that next year is going to be the same year, it is just going to be good.
Lorenzo says he can feel a difference using aerodynamic winglets on his Yamaha MotoGP bike, unlike his teammate Rossi, who has called them “ugly”. Lorenzo:
This year they are a little bit bigger, in a different position from last year. They don’t make such a big difference, obviously they give you a little bit less wheelie on the exit of the corners. But on the negative side you have less speed on the straight. We have to analyse every situation if we can ride with it or without it. For the moment I prefer, but let’s see what happens in the future. I feel some benefits that, for example, my teammate is not feeling.
I will continue with the wings that give us more help. I know all the manufacturers try to speak to decide whether to continue with the wings or not. I’m open to everything. But sincerely speaking, it’s better for me that we don’t have the wings.
Rossi says that Lorenzo will be competitive at Ducati. The manufacturer has been steadily improving its MotoGP efforts but has not had a race win since Casey Stoner won the 2010 Australian Grand Prix. Rossi:
When I arrived at Ducati, the bike was very different compared to all the other bikes. It was another concept. It is a different moment in terms of time because I’m older but it’s similar in terms of moment in our careers. It looks like that the Ducati in the last two years has improved a lot and is a competitive bike, it’s for sure very different to Yamaha. I know the skills of Lorenzo to ride and I think that he will be competitive with Ducati.
Rossi says he is not the reason Lorenzo is leaving Yamaha for Ducati. When asked if Lorenzo “could not stand” being his teammate any more.
The great thing about the Yamaha management and all the guys that make decisions for the team, is that they are able to manage two top riders, because they always keep us at the same level,” said the Italian. Already in 2008, when I had been at Yamaha for four years, Lorenzo arrived straight away exactly at my level. But this happened also the other way, when I come back in 2013 [after two seasons with Ducati] when Lorenzo was champion, Yamaha put me at the same level. Always in Yamaha it’s 50/50, which is the key to make the team work. So I don’t think it’s for this reason.
Speaking in Jerez, Marquez confirms that Ducati had made him an approach, but denied being in the running to replace Jorge Lorenzo as Rossi’s teammate.
I had a call from Ducati. Yamaha has done in the past, but not this time. Already Lin [Jarvis, team boss] said it wouldn’t be possible. I started talking with Honda [about a new contract] in Austin and I have always said they are my priority. They were the ones to give me the opportunity to join MotoGP, and there is no logic in changing.
Asked about the prospect of being paired up with Marquez, Rossi says:
It would be interesting to see Marquez at Yamaha, and he would be a very tough teammate to beat. It’s hard enough to share a box with Lorenzo. I can only say that I will do my best to beat my teammate, whoever it is.
Rossi says a podium finish at Jerez is a must.
I am very happy that now we go to Europe. The race in Texas was not very lucky for me, but even after a race like that we have to look at the positive side. We were having a very good weekend when we improved in qualifying and I felt very good on the bike and also with the Michelins. Austin has always been a very difficult track for me, but this year it was good. Now we go to Jerez, a track that I like very much. It’s very different from the first three rounds of the championship. We’ll have to work well, like we have done in these first races, finding the best setting for the tyres, continue working on the Michelins, and above all we must try to get onto the podium on Sunday.
Rossi says Yamaha and Michelin should work to improve his bike’s situation, but the only way he can avoid more crashes is to ride more precisely.
I think I have no solution. I think that the tyre will remain like this, and I think Michelin can work, for sure, but especially we have to work on the bikes to improve them. Try to make a better match with these tyres. But especially not try to make any mistakes. For sure, the situation is different for us [than to Honda] on these tyres. Last year, the Bridgestone maybe had some other problems, but are very safe on the front. This year, if you make a small mistake, you pay. In that corner I entered with the same speed, there are two bumps, and maybe I was more inside, maybe I lost concentration, maybe I wanted more, and I lost the front.
Rossi says he no longer buys his rival’s claims of weakness.
I always considered he was very dangerous. The Honda seems very good to me. According to me, when he talks about difficulties [with the bike], Marquez plays a bit of tactics, he feathers his own nest, but he knows very well that this is a very strong bike…It’s true also that he looks much faster than [Dani] Pedrosa, especially here [in Austin]. This means he’s comfortable and he will be hard to beat.