Rossi: three deserving champions
“As far as the result is concerned, I think seventh place is probably the best that was possible, whereas the gap could have been better - the Italian rider commented - Nicky was with me the whole race. I was ahead and I pushed, but I was never able to shake him. The bike I crashed with in the warm-up had some small changes that we wanted to try, but honestly, I don’t think I could have done much more. I’m not able to enter the corners fast because whenever I try, I go too wide. I have to brake earlier, try to keep a bit of margin, and then accelerate as soon as possible, but by opening the gas very early, with the bike leaned over, the tire heats up a lot on the edges. Today it immediately started sliding too much. Complements to Marquez and Lorenzo for their titles, which both of them certainly deserve.”
Rossi wasn't particularly interested in discussing the race, but he was happy to comment on the championship winners...
"In my opinion, all three championship winners thoroughly deserved their titles. Cortese, but also Marquez and Lorenzo, had tough rivals to contend with. Marc beat out Pol Espargaro, who was very strong this year. Pol was something of a surprise, this was his best year, and he really pushed Marc. Marquez will be fast immediately in MotoGP on the Honda. I'm convinced of that, and so I'm a little bit worried because the two best riders in MotoGP and the two best riders from Moto2 are all Spanish... which means that the Iberian domination will probably continue... but let's hope not."
In 2013, you will have the chance to see just how strong Lorenzo really is...
"Lorenzo earned his title because he won where Yamaha was strong, but especially because he didn't make any mistakes in the second part of the season, when the Honda had become more competitive. Jorge had two rivals, because there was not only Pedrosa, but also Stoner at the beginning, and this is probably what made the difference. Lorenzo did the entire season at the maximum, and neither Stoner nor Pedrosa could manage that."
What do you expect next season?
"Stoner won't be racing, but Pedrosa and Lorenzo will be there, and they are clearly the two strongest riders right now. They are riding at a very high level. I don't know if I'll be able to match them. First I need to test the Yamaha at Valencia, and then I'll have a better idea, but it will take some time to reach their level, work at our best and achieve the maximum."
Do you think you can trouble Lorenzo more than Marquez can challenge Dani?
"Good question; obviously I hope I can be more of a challenge to Jorge. But it's true that both Marc and I will be number two riders, and normally this is an advantage because we have less to lose. It will be a little like when Lorenzo first came to Yamaha. If Pedrosa beats Marquez, it will be normal, but not the other way around. And that should be the same for me. Sure, I'm a nine time world champion, but I'm also something of a racing highlander: few riders have had long careers like mine, and all have retired before me. So if you want to see me breaking lap records, you need to wait a little while... and just be happy in the meantime."
The full audio interview is below:
Translation by Sean Sedacca