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Old 11-13-2007, 08:52 AM   #1
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Rossi interview

Milan, 9th November, 2007.

So, Rossi, itís the end of a very difficult season. Letís make a quick summary, who is Valentino today?

The latest events (tax problems) have made me grow up. I never quite grasped how huge my public figure is, now the situation is clearer. I feel like a rider who will try his best to have everything in order to be able to ride serenely.

Out of 2007, what shall we keep and what shall we throw away?

There were some nice victories, even though in the end even the second place got away. We can throw away all the other non-racing related stuff.

Is Stoner a shooting star or is he the new Valentino?

Heís not a shooting star, but to be the new Valentino he needs to win again, fighting hard against Valentino and even against Pedrosa. However he wonít be the new Valentino, he will be Stoner.

Casey was disappointed at not being congratulated after winning the title.

At Montegi he was stationary on the left side of the track, picking up a flag and I passed by on the other side. It just happened, I certainly didnít want to offend him. I shook Haydenís hand last year, there are the photos.

How badly do you want to beat him?

A lot. I really want to measure myself up against a hot adversary, but I need a bike and tyres which go well.

Have you ever had the nightmare that you might no longer be capable of winning?

Everybody has it and I am very realistic. However Iíve reached the conclusion that I am still on form, but I wasnít in a condition to fight with Stoner.

Youíve pretty much blamed everyone: The Biaggi effect?

Even this is not true. I simply say whatís happening on track, in what I believe to be an objective manner. If we want to make a comparison, riders of the past (Max) complained without reason because according to them my bike was the official one. Then I went to Yamaha but I screwed them anyway. I complained because it was true. However Iíve never ever said that Stoner won because he has the Ducati.

Where did Michelin go wrong?

Last year I already couldnít ride on these tyres because theyíve gone down a road which followed Hondaís requests. This year, with the new rules, they didnít invest enough money in development.

Did Yamaha underestimate Ducati?

All the Japanese did. Ducati was intelligent and aggressive, working far better. We used to be competitive with Honda, but they have the money and the people to catch up in a very short time, Yamaha lacks this.

The most worrying thing is that every new thing that was tried had to be discarded.

Correct. It means that somethingís not right in the engineering department. Yamaha has never been the fastest bike, but this year we were losing even 15-20kph. We suffered from the fuel restriction. Every time we tried something new we broke down. If I want to win they need to make some important changes. They need better people and more money.

Letís move on to private matters. Is it true that when the tax chaos broke out, you thought you were on Scherzi a Parte?
(For non Italian people, scherzo a parte is this telly program that plays candid camera like tricks and sometimes pretty nasty jokes on famous people)

Well it almost could have been that. Iíd like to explain what was going on in the background, but Iím not allowed to for now. There are people who are working at solving the problem. I think it should resolve itself quickly and well. I didnít expect the media to turn against me so badly. There were mistakes on my part, but things which were incorrect were also written.

So how will it all end? Will you move back to Italy? Will you be a representative for the ministry of Finance?

Iím already a good representative for themÖMy work is not a joke. Maybe it leads you to concentrate on certain things, whilst ignoring others. If I made mistakes, maybe out of being too flippant, I am ready to fix them. I donít know if Iíll move back to Italy. The law allows me to go back to Tavullia to be with my mother and my friends. If in the future it will no longer be that way, weíll have to re-evaluate.

Has this situation distanced you from your fans?

The hardcore ones forgive me many things. For some people there are some doubts. I had been depicted as some kind of perfect hero, but I donít feel that way: everyoneís got things about them which arenít perfect. I think I have a lot to give on track and these people will be back.

In this terrible summer, thereís also been the split with Arianna, surrounded by gossip. Wouldnít it have been simpler to tell the truth, that Canalis (Elizabetta Canalis Ė the Italian showgirl Valentino was romantically linked with) was at Mugello as a paid guest of the team?

It was a mistake to learn from. The worst was for Arianna: she knows Canalis had nothing to do with our split, because weíd already broken up by then. But a lot of people gave her a lot of hassle about it: I was sorry about that because she was a Ďrealí girlfriend.

Another divorce with the manager whoís been with you for ever, Badioli: necessity or personal growth?

Iíd rather not reply to that. Iíll just say that to me human relationships are one of the most important things. All can draw their own conclusions.

Letís get back on track. Michelin has stopped you from the first two tests: Valencia and Malaysia. Payback?

They wonít let me test simply because theyíre afraid of me. I can understand them.

Was this forceful action necessary to get the Brigestones?

I was forceful with Furusawa (Yamaha head) and I never spoke to Ezpeleta.

But technically, is it really whatís required to go back to winning?

Tyres are trust. After the most recent events and the reactions Iíve had from Michelin, I couldnít trust them anymore. Sadly with them you just never know where youíre going.

And if you donít win with Bridgestone, what will happen?

I wonít look for excuses, Iíll have other possibilities.

Would you give up one of your past titles in exchange for the next one?

Itís important to win again soon, but Iíd hate to give away one of the oneís Iíve already won.

You want a Yamaha which will be competitive at the start: If it doesnít happen will it be easier to see you on a Ducati or a Honda in 2009?

Weíll have to see how this devil of an engine will improve. If it grows well, we could wait even one more year. If thereís nothing to do, amen. I have good relationships with both, though definitely Ducati is more appealing because itís Italian.

But thereís Stoner.

I donít think heíd say no. Maybe heíd like to measure up on the same bike. Now Iíve really shot my mouth offÖ
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:31 AM   #2
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very good info. Thanks.
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:26 PM   #3
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Gotta love the guy.

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Old 11-13-2007, 01:32 PM   #4
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I hate when they ask him stuff about his private life. I dont care and if I were him I would be ! I'm a fan of him on the track who cares what he does off it! I also think he's the only one who had the big brass ones to stand up to the tire companies...
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:58 PM   #5
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great read! I love that last line...... and then I just happened to read Arturo's quote of Rossi which made me
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by hypertrophyy View Post
great read! I love that last line...... and then I just happened to read Arturo's quote of Rossi which made me

He actually said it while standing at the pit wall at the start of the 125 or 250 race in Misano (or whatever the last Italian round was) Had me and the TV guys rollin'
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:11 PM   #7
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thanks for the read.
"I haven't seen the crash, but I think Marc needs to be penalized for two or three seasons! Until I stop racing!"-VR46
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:40 PM   #8
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:47 PM   #9
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I love that last line.

I agree with BKLYNBULLET though, I don't care too much about his personal life.
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