MotoGP, Valentino Rossi: “I’m sorry that Marquez isn’t racing, but I don’t forgive him.”

“Marc wasn’t the strongest opponent I met. His injury? First there were rules, then they changed. Who knows why. Yamaha made a mistake in choosing so early.”

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Valentino Rossi was interviewed by Giorgio Terruzzi from Corriere della Sera. A long interview about his past, present, and future. The Doctor spoke about everything, resuming the last few seasons but, above all, revealing his ambitions for the new one, where he’ll be riding the Petronas team’s Yamaha.

2021 will be crucial for #46, and he’s not hiding it, given that he’ll soon be blowing out 42 candles: “Priorities change when you get to an age like mine,” Rossi began. “At twenty, you think about racing, and then racing. That's it. What happens between one race and another, you don’t even remember. Now it’s different. Even if between training, nutrition, competitions, and tests, the days are identical to those of the past. But my thoughts are also different. I can even follow politics a bit. I still don’t understand jack, but I follow it.

Speaking of politics: “I’ve never been too critical about Conte, with the government. I find it difficult to manage this chaos. All the countries of the world are in a crisis, and it’s easy to disapprove of those who try to solve it. Will Draghi be the new prime minister? We’ll have to wait and see. I hope for a serious vaccines plan and support for workers in difficulty, who are and will be many. I’d like a real strategy to return to normal, to appreciate Italy more than before. In this sense, we’re luckier than others. We live in a wonderful place.

Then he talks about racing again, especially about his rivals, and Marc Marquez, who’s still struggling with his bad injury: “I think his mistake was racing too soon after surgery. I didn’t understand how they allowed that to happen. Doctor Costa is a pioneer, a luminary. He’s  revolutionized treatments and methods of recovery, reducing times of immobility. Then, after Lorenzo’s quick return to Assen in 2013, to avoid excess risks, Dorna set limits. With Marquez, those fell throughall of a sudden. Who knows why.

The nine-time world champion was pressed on the Marquez subject: “I feel really bad that he can’t race,” Valentino said. "If he gets better, something no one knows right now, not even him, he’ll be as strong as before. But Marquez wasn’t the strongest opponent I met.” Then he also mentions 2015: “Impossible to forgive him. What he did to me can’t be forgiven. When I think back to those days, I have the same feelings. And it’s been six years. I don’t think those will  change.

The past is behind him. What he has to do now is focus on the present, with a new adventure awaiting him: “Yamaha chose the 2021 riders before 2020 began. That’s a mistake, in my opinion. That’s a MotoGP habit. We should wait at least a few races. However, Quartararo is still a promise, and Viñales, even with his ups and downs, is very strong. They’ll do well, I’m sure.”

 

Translated by Leila Myftija

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