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Wednesday, July 29, 2015



Thank you Valentino Rossi. Thank you Assen. What else can we say? Any other sport in the world would die for a race like the Assen TT last weekend, in which Valentino Rossi took a dramatic win after an epic duel with Marc Marquez. The 100,000 spectators went crazy. It was Rossi versus Marquez, Yamaha vs. Honda, old generation versus new.
CW: How do you feel about beating Marquez and consolidating your championship lead?
VR: I’m really happy, and beating Marc at the very last chicane gives me an extra boost. I was competitive throughout the whole weekend and with such a high level of the championship we need to take the maximum, whenever it is possible. The first “success” arrived on Friday with the pole position. Before Assen, I had zero poles and Lorenzo had seven. It was not embarrassing, but I was obliged to chase. Starting from the front row, it’s much easier. It was a great satisfaction to score the pole position. I was starting from the pole and Jorge from the 8th spot. I have been chasing Lorenzo in the last four races and the idea was to go away and manage the gap. I maintained a strong pace but it wasn’t enough to get away from Marc. I tried to push at the limit but he came with me. Then we came at the last chicane…
CW: Marquez said he had studied the chicane throughout the whole race and practiced putting his bike exactly where he wanted on the inside, but he hadn’t calculated that you could cut the corner. Your thoughts?
VR: I knew that in a hypothetical duel with Marc, the last chicane would have been tough, because this kind of turn suits Marc and Honda’s style. He always entered very strong and he had had the possibility to study my style during the race. So I tried to do the maximum. When I leaned on the right and I had my knee down I thought that I had made it, but he arrived and touched me. I had to cut the corner and I was lucky to control the bike on the gravel, it’s hard to know how deep the gravel is.

CW: When you cut the chicane and crossed the finish line, did you think it was an illegal maneuver?
VR: I will watch the race again but I have never had a doubt because he put me off in the gravel. This was the only choice I had. Last year I never succeeded to beat him at the very last lap, mainly for a technical reason. He had a better technical package and was unbeatable. This year the M1 has improved a lot. Honda returned to the 2014 chassis while we made another step forward. I am happy to have 74 points of advantage because I’m sure that in Germany he will be even stronger.
CW: The last time you won from pole was the San Marino GP in 2009.
VR: Today I had to do a race “Lorenzo’s style.” I made it, even though Jorge usually goes away and finishes with an advantage of four seconds. On the contrary, I couldn’t get rid of Marc.
CW: Is this race the turning point of the season?
VR: This success is also the result of the work done at Barcelona. We did important changes in terms of set-up, but the most important thing was the different approach. The new chassis we tested at Aragon gave us an advantage too. The bike is easier to ride and we have more grip when the tires drop. We started here from a good base. I was fast from the first practice, so afterward we could focus only on the details. The target was to improve in qualifying because this was our weak point compared to Jorge. We need to face a race at the time. At Sachsenring, Lorenzo will be strong.
CW: How important these 10 points are for the championship?
VR: It was important to give a sign. Jorge struggled in the first races. He gave the maximum and he had almost re-joined me. Now he is chasing again. But the championship is still open as there are still 10 races to go.

CW: What is your relationship with Jorge Lorenzo?
VR: At the beginning it was not easy. In 2009, I didn’t like that Yamaha signed such a young and competitive teammate. But now everything is different. We are more mature. Everyone knows his role and position. Things are clear. Together we work well for the development of the bike. Then, of course, we are both competitive and we want to win.
CW: In the past you used to win outside the track, putting extra psychological pressure. Is this strategy still working?
VR: This has changed in the years. My way of celebrating the victories has changed too. Now I am completely focused on being strong, riding fast, and enjoying myself. With the new generation of riders, only the chronometer counts. I need to be faster than them on track.
CW: You are competitive, in shape, and focused on clinching a 10th title. How do you stay motivated?
VR: I feel very well, and fighting with these kids gives me an extra motivation. Together with Jorge we are having a great season. The feeling with the bike is good.
CW: Is true that you don’t have other plans outside the track?
VR: Now I am focused on racing. I enjoy it. It’s a great feeling to be back fighting for the title.
CW: Tonight, you won’t have time to celebrate. You will be at the official dinner at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
VR: Lord March invited me, and Yamaha is celebrating its 60th anniversary. I will ride the M1 and I will have the chance to drive some old cars. It will be fun.

Source: CycleWorld

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Item Reviewed: CW INTERVIEW: VALENTINO ROSSI Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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