MotoGP »

Surtees: Rossi won't leave MotoGP.

The only man to have won premier-class world championships on both two- and four-wheels, John Surtees, has told that he doesn't think Valentino Rossi will now follow in his footsteps and leave MotoGP for Formula One.

"I've talked to him - and he at one time was talking about it - if he does, he can't leave it too long," said Surtees when asked if he thought Rossi would still make the move. "If he does, he's got to do it within the next year, perhaps two years, but preferably a year.

"But I can't see it happening now, for the simple reason that he's obviously coming together with that machine. He went to a new team, he took his previous team along with him and they've now developed the Yamaha to a point where it is obviously a very rideable bike.

"It's no good just having power, or just having stopping power, or just handling. What you need is a complete bike and you have to become as one. And there is a new challenge of course in that the formula is changing (from 990cc to 800cc) at the end of next year.

"So he may say, 'ah yes - I want to win the first championship of the new formula', with the reduced engine size etc, so who knows? If he does go over to four-wheels, who knows if it'll actually be Formula One - it may be rallying, because his recent statements have been around rallying."

Surtees, who won four 500cc and three 350cc world titles on two-wheels before claiming the 1964 Formula One crown for Ferrari, was also asked for his thoughts on Rossi's latest conquest - in which the Italian triumphed through appalling weather conditions in the British Grand Prix at Donington Park, setting a best lap almost two-seconds clear of his nearest opposition in the process.

"I was at Silverstone watching my son competing in a kart race, which was washed out, but everybody who's spoken to me since has said 'did you see it - did you see it?' and unfortunately I didn't!" smiled John. "But I have a copy of the race coming, so I will see it.

"I'm in for a treat, because when someone comes together with a vehicle, whether it be bike or car, in the way that Rossi obviously did in that event - and also to a degree Kenny Roberts - and you see the skills, you see this point of going to the brink, a bit beyond the brink, but actually catching it and coming back - that's something rather special.

"Certainly, it brings back memories of times when I had to do events - like at the Isle of Man one year - when we had those types of conditions: The bike was breaking away and you had to just hold it, lift it up for a moment, then drop it down again to get around the corner.

"Rossi obviously did an incredible job and it can only be good for motorsport and motorcycling," he concluded.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rossi Nearly Highsides, British MotoGP Race, 2005
John Surtees in action - the only person to be both a Motorcycle and Formula One world champion.
Sam Sunderland becomes first Briton to ever win bike class of the Dakar Rally
Sam Sunderland becomes first Brit to ever win bike class of the Dakar Rally
Sam Sunderland becomes first Briton to ever win bike class of the Dakar Rally
Abraham, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Monster Yamaha Tech 3, MotoGP, [Credit: Tech 3 Yamaha]
Circuit of Wales, Extreme, [Credit: Circuit of Wales PR]
MotoGP 2016`s Unusual Suspects
Brad Baker Superprestigio
Sky Racing Team VR46, Moto2, Moto3, [Credit: Sky racing Team VR46]
Rossi at 2016 Monza Rally Show (Monster)
Marquez at FIM Gala
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith, Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.