For once, Valentino the rider took a back seat and the manager appeared in his place. After all, it would have been impossible to ignore the news of the VR46 team's entry into MotoGP yesterday, and Rossi is the first to be proud of it.
"It is a circle that closes - commented the Doctor - We started about ten years ago helping my brother, Migno, Morbidelli, who raced in CIV and arriving in MotoGP is a great satisfaction, a good thing for us and we have also done it for MotoGP and motorsport in general. I think ours is a good project, in recent years we have helped many riders and we are still doing it together with the Italian Federation ”.
The question is whether a team created for young riders can have a veteran like him as a rider. The first answer was jokey: “If I still want to race I could keep a bike for myself, as I am the boss” he laughed. Then he became serious again: “In truth this team doesn't change much with my decision whether to continue or not because, as I've always said, it will depend on the results and my priority remains Petronas. So, at the moment, I would say that it is very difficult for me to race for my own team, but it is not 100% certain, things can change from one day to the next. Let's say it's difficult but not impossible, but first we'll have to see if I'll be competitive, that will make the difference ”.
For the moment, Valentino is satisfied, if we can say so, to have taken the team to the premier class, even though there have been negative comments on social media for being linked to the royal family of Saudi Arabia, a country where human rights are not always respected.
“Aramco in recent years has given its support in various sports, from football to Formula 1, for us it is an important partner - he explained - Maybe we can do something to improve things, but ours is a sporting relationship, based on the team. I have not spoken directly with them, there are many people in VR46 who deal with these things, I am above all a rider and I have been involved as the boss - he smiled - I am happy with this agreement because over the years we have managed to grow step by step and we had a lot of fun, because we are first of all fans, addicts of this sport. At first we didn't even think about MotoGP, but then this possibility came and we said to ourselves: why not? It will definitely be fun and also a nice way to stay in this world when I am no longer a rider”.
One thing, however, is not yet clear, which bike the team will have…
“We have talked to everyone, Aprilia, Ducati, Yamaha and Suzuki, I'm not up to date but I don't think the decision has been made,” he said.
Only one doubt remains: whether the rumour is true that Valentino had signed a clause with Yamaha, upon his return in 2013, according to which he would no longer be able to ride another MotoGP bike other than an M1.
“As I said, the priority would be to continue with Petronas, but I honestly don't remember this clause. Regardless of the bike, it will still be difficult for me to race in my team,” he concluded.