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MotoGP, Rossi battles with himself: losing hurt me

"It took a while to bounce back and I couldn't make the most of my speed. The championship? I'll keep hold of that little glimmer of hope"

Rossi battles with himself: losing hurt me


The interview Valentino Rossi gave on the official Dorna site really set the fans tongues wagging. The Doctor referred to last season's final race as he analysed the effects that has had on his current season.

2015 was all about his head to head with Lorenzo, right up to the two final, thrilling races. A physical and mental effort that has a certain effect, especially when you come out of it defeated. “To do a season like last year and then lose so badly, it's tough”, he admits.

At Silverstone, Valentino doesn't hold back when asked about this very subject.

“In that interview, I tried to explain that a season like that of last year is difficult to fully get over - he says - It's quite difficult to deal with such mental and physical effort, the pressure of leading the championship all year and then losing at the last race, and so unfairly”.

What happens in these cases?
It takes time to prepare for the following season, there are deadlines to respect in order to be ready for the first race. Looking back after a few months had passed, I realised that it did take me some time to bounce back, it was harder”.

What are the consequences of that?
In certain situations I haven't made the most of my speed, which is probably greater than last year in fact. I've made some mistakes, some wrong decisions and now I find I'm behind. I was also unlucky at Mugello, with the engine failure”.

From where do you start?
“The most important thing is that the speed is there, when you have that the other things can be sorted out. It's more difficult when you're slow, in that case you have to invent something”.

What's your goal for rest of the season?
In these seven races it's important to continue to be fast, try to always finish the races and strive for the podium and the race wins. The championship might be as good as done, but there's still time to have fun.

Do you feel less pressure?
I'm definitely less stressed than I was last year, though I will never give up until it's over. I don't need to say it, otherwise I could simply stay at home. There is always a glimmer of hope, until maths tells us there's not. Last year, I also had to try and ride with my head, not make mistakes and, at certain tracks, I had to defend myself without going on the attack, now the situation is simpler”.

Meaning you can take more risks?
Yes, but it's difficult to reason like that. If I were to make one more mistake, it would really be over, so you need to keep hold of that glimmer and not go crazy. You need to work well in practice and then see what you can do in the race, understand whether it's the right day to risk a little more or if it's better to keep it together”.

Has the change in tyre manufacturer had an effect in terms of psychological pressure?
“The Michelins create more psychological stress, the Bridgestones were more ‘mathematical’ in terms of their pros and cons. When you went out on track you knew what to expect. The Michelins are more sensitive to changes in the weather and track, but they are easier from a physical point of view, so to sum up, they're more difficult for the head but easier for the body.

Translated by Heather Watson

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