At the height of his twenty-year career, Valentino knows that certain things never change. One of these is bad weather during the Le Mans GP. The Bugatti welcomed the MotoGP riders with rain this year too, and it's not good news for Rossi.
“It’s too bad, because I really like this track and, historically, Yamaha likes it here,” he said. “Also, I was hoping for dry weather to see if the work done in the Jerez tests will allow me to be stronger. This week, it'll be important to be competitive in all conditions, because the weather can change every ten minutes.”
As he waits to find out what the sky has in store for him these next few days, the Doctor has been the topic of discussion of several champions lately.
“Actually, I haven’t read anything for fifteen years. Sometimes I see something on social media, but my press officer informed me before this interview,” he said jokingly. “I know that some speak well of me and others badly. Fogarty and Schwantz said some nice things, and I have to thank them. Above all, I was pleased to know that Kevin still believes in me. He said I still have some strength left. I agree with him, and I’ll try to prove that he’s right.”
Former riders, like fans, are split in two: some say that Valentino should continue and others say he shouldn’t. What does he think?
“I haven’t started talking about my future with the team yet,” he answered. “Along with Petronas, we decided to wait for the first half of the championship to do so. Like I said, the plan is to discuss whether to continue together if my results are good.”
The Malaysian team, on the other hand, already has a contract signed with Morbidelli, who someone says is one of the possible riders of the newly born VR46 team in the MotoGP.
Rossi denied it: “I would definitely very much like Franco to race for our team, but I know he gets along very well with Petronas. In my opinion, either he’ll stay where he is or, if he changes, he deserves an official team. It’s very unlikely I’ll be racing with him.”
Having closed the discussion on his future and that of the team, the Doctor commented on the news of the Italian GP behind closed doors.
“Mugello is one of those tracks where racing without an audience is a big problem,” he stated. “It’s a natural stadium, a bit like Jerez and Assen. You see the people when you ride, and the fact that there aren’t any is a great shame.”
Finally, Valentino tackled two more technical topics: the system that lowers the rear of the bike (now not only at the start) and the ubiquitous tires.
“Riders have different ideas regarding that system, but it depends on which bike they ride. If you ask the Ducati riders, they’re happy about it because theirs works very well. The Honda riders aren’t, for the opposite reason,” the Doctor said jokingly. “Using it is a strange feeling, but as far as safety is concerned, nothing changes. About the tires. I don’t think they’re doing badly on the Yamahas. I know that KTM has some problems with the front and also that Michelin is working on a new tire. It’s not that the current one isn’t doing well, but more options are needed.”