From this year, the fans can propose questions for the riders during the traditional Thursday press conference by posting them on social networks. Valentino was asked who would be his rival in a hypothetical movie, similar to Rush with Lauda up against Hunt.
“I'd say Biaggi, there would be many entertaining tales to tell” he smiles. Deciding on the soundtrack takes a little longer but in the end he goes for “Eye of the tiger, like in Rocky”.
Rossi's focus then returns to Austin and the upcoming weekend.
“I didn't have a fantastic winter and have continued to suffer in practice, but I've had two good races in which I've reached the podium- he says - In truth, after Qatar I though I'd immediately be quicker in Argentina but I struggled too much in free practice. Here's we'll see if what we learned at Termas proves useful”.
Were the two weekends so different?
“Yes, even though it might have appeared the opposite from the outside. On Saturday morning, before it started to rain, the bike set-up was very similar to what I used in the race. In the warm-up I was fast too, but then I wanted to carry out more tests and the position wasn't good”.
“I arrive here feeling ore confident, we've understood a few things about the bike and my first aim is to be competitive in free practice”.
What kind of track is Austin?
“A very difficult one, it's long and with 20 different corners the work is double what it is normally, many things need to be sorted. It's also physical and asks a lot of the tyres. I've never scored great results here, but I was competitive in 2015 and last year too”.
Is it the year to stop Marquez, who's proved unbeatable here?
“It's difficult to say because every race is different, but it's true that we're strong, Yamaha's had two double podiums. We need to try, as always. Already last year, if I hadn't crashed, I could have fought for it. Marquez aside, it's important to score points. That's fundamental at the start of the season, then we head to Europe where there are many tracks that I love”.
Another incentive would be to score Yamaha's 500th win…
“I'd really like that, it's a great number and I think I deserve it more… we just need to see if Maverick agrees (he laughs)”.
Speaking of Vinales, has his start surprised you?
“I expected him to be very strong on the M1, it's a good bike and his talent is undeniable. I just hoped it would take him a little longer (he laughs) so it was a bit of a surprise”.