Valentino Rossi has been in Milan talking to Radio Deejay about all things MotoGP. The interview touched upon the 2019 MotoGP season, his career, his fears, his favourite tracks, and the young talent in the field that he’s got his eye on.
Valentino, yesterday you saw your new bike…
“Yesterday really was the start of the 2019 season. We took pictures with the new M1 and soon we start again. During the break I only did off-road and from last week I started training at the gym”.
How many pilots have made it to 40 with your level of competitiveness?
“Years ago, the riders started racing later and many continued their career almost up to 40 years or more. I have never thought too much about my age, but I did not think I’d still be competitive at 40. Running has always been my dream “.
At the signing of the last contract did you have to think about it or were you sure to continue?
“I thought about it, but then I had no real doubts. I still felt competitive and so I made the choice to continue at least until 2020”.
What is the difference between an experienced rider like you and a MotoGP rookie?
“Experience is an important factor to evaluate because it allows you to work well for the race and you know the tracks well. For their part, young pilots are less afraid of falling and when they do they do less harm. Furthermore, from a physical point of view, they recover first in the event of an accident. Young people have more courage and unconsciousness. There is fear in everyone, I often get scared and must be taken into account. To change is how we react to fear”.
There are those among you who are a bit crazy and forget” fear?
“Yes sure. Growing up, however, pull the oars in the boat and pay more attention. Let’s say it happens more often to see the “crazy” in Moto2 or Moto3 because they want to prove that they are fast. The bravest are always the Japanese or Malaysians, who have started running in extreme conditions. The English, on the other hand, are better under water because it often rains “.
Marquez looks like one who takes risks…
“Yes, he takes risks. He is very brave, to the point of not even being afraid. He always searches for the limit and sometimes he overcomes it, he falls. But he does not seem to hear the beatings: he goes back into the saddle and goes back to doing what he was doing “.
Although you are among the greatest of all time, a rider with Marquez’s potential deserves to be observed. Do you look at it? Take inspiration or try to understand the secrets?
“Sure. Everyone is careful about what others do. We even go to see what they eat and how they train, no one excluded. Certainly I happened to take inspiration and learn from others. Not just from the MotoGP guys, but also from the little ones”.
Who, among the youngest, worries you for the 2019 season?
The strongest are definitely Morbidelli and Bagnaia. I will find them between the feet in the race. On the other hand we have worked to get them to where they are and to make them competitive. Morbidelli will be followed by Forcada, one that the M1 knows as his pockets. Speaking of the other classes, my brother is also growing a lot, when he won his first race I cried. It would be nice to race with him in 2020″.
How long do you take to get ready before a race?
“At least 15 minutes. Dressing up is a ritual for me. In normal situations, under the suit, I put shorts similar to those of cyclists; then I have technical stockings and a tight-fitting undersuit. When it is colder, however, I also use a thermal shirt. The racing suits are all perforated but with the temperatures too low we are given a non-perforated, all-leather overalls. ”
Do you lose weight on race weekends?
“Yes, about 2.5 kg per race. We are riding about two hours a day throughout the weekend and at that time you eat well and little “.
What are your favourite tracks?
“Mugello, Assen, Barcelona and Philip Island. These four would say. Assen is one of the very few tracks where only motorcycles run and is born as a city circuit. It is called the University of Motion because it is a complex track “.