By now Valentino has got used to having his pupils around him, on and off the track, during press conferences attended by the top riders. During his interview with Sky TV after qualifying, Marini, Bezzecchi and Bagnaia stood behind him, acting as bodyguards. Rossi took the opportunity to joke: "Now they have become as tall as me, Luca clearly more. It is like with children when we say: how they have grown up!” (at the bottom you can see the video).
Even in qualifying you had to deal with Bagnaia…
“I thought that I prefer to fight with Pecco and Franco and be beaten by them, maybe sometimes beat them, than with the others - he smiled - We have a good relationship and on the track we all give our best”.
The Doctor was a spectator of Bagnaia’s fantastic lap, cancelled due to a small mistake at the last corner.
"Pecco deserved the pole - said Valentino – The Ducati is a very fast bike but it is not easy to ride, but thanks to his riding style, he is able to mask its defects and take full advantage of its strengths, such as acceleration. I was sure he would take pole, I also told him: he could even take half the track in that last corner. But the good lap he did remains ”.
There is no doubt that Valentino has a flair for new talents and, in the future, he could arrive directly with his team in MotoGP…
“For the moment we are just talking about the possibility for my brother to race next year with Ducati in the Avintia team - he specified - In 2021 we will not be in MotoGP with our team, we need to see whether to do it in 2022, when a lot of things will change. For the moment we are happy to be in Moto2 and Moto3, it is our dimension, to add MotoGP we will have to take another step ”.
After wrapping up the managerial subject, Rossi then returned to the role of rider…
“On the one hand, I'm happy with my qualifying, because I'm just 3 tenths from pole, but I'm 7th – he reflected - I had better potential but I made some mistakes, I felt good on the bike. Starting from the third row, things in the race start to get more complicated, we must not make any mistakes, the start and the first corners will be very important. Of course we have to be aggressive, but with the whole race in mind. "
The Doctor knows he has several cards to play…
“I'm happy because I knew I had to improve and I succeeded - he continued - At the end of FP2 we made a change on the M1 that allowed me to have a better pace. There are a lot of fast riders but I am there too, I'm more competitive than a week ago ”.
This does not mean that it is easy to make predictions, because the group is compact, like success in qualifying.
"It's a stressful situation, usually when you take 3 tenths off pole you think you're starting from the front row while I'm in third - he explained - This is the biggest difference compared to 10 or 15 years ago, but you have to adapt if you want to be part of the game. You have to work on all the details, be on the limit in every corner. Of course, in the race things are always different, I feel good and have a good pace, but I think there are 7 riders who have it ”.
But you won't hear Rossi talking about the good old days compared with the present…
“There are a lot of people nostalgic about the two-strokes, but not me. I think this is the best MotoGP ever and the bikes we ride too. Maybe I prefer the ‘90s or 2000s just because I was winning more - he joked - We need to understand why we are all so close, it can be a technical question with the same electronics and tyres for everyone or it is because the riders are more professional and better prepared, even that makes the difference ".
The fact is that surprises are the name of the game, even at Misano after an entire race weekend, one day of testing and two of practice.
“In theory everything should have remained the same, but it is incredible how the situation has changed - admitted Valentino – the Ducati, Suzuki and KTM have come very close, but the Yamaha is also doing better. Tomorrow I expect other protagonists in the race compared to a week ago ”.