1 January 1901
Q&A: Rossi at Yamaha launch.
As part of Fiat Yamaha's virtual launch of its 2009 MotoGP campaign, the following interview with the team's reigning six time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has been released.
During the interview, Rossi casts an eye back over last season, looks ahead to 2009, admits to being 'very worried' by the loss of Kawasaki, comments on the lack of close racing in MotoGP, confirms an interest in battling Troy Bayliss in WSBK - plus Rallying, F1, Marco Simoncelli, beating Agostini and more...
How was your winter holiday? What have you been doing during your time off?
My winter holidays were great! I have a great passion for snowboarding and so I went to the mountains with my friends, did a bit of boarding, which was great fun, and now I am ready to start working again.
How are your memories of 2008? After having some time for your victory to sink in, can you choose your absolute favourite moment of 2008?
It's difficult to choose my favourite moment because, luckily, there were many in what was an incredible season! I returned to winning ways, but the most emotional race was the one in Laguna Seca, because it was definitely the most important victory of the season.
You had a chance to try the prototype bike before the break. What's your opinion of it so far and do you think Yamaha are doing a good job?
Yes, I had the chance to try the 2009 prototype briefly after Valencia but more so in Jerez, when I was very fast. The bike seems better and I was faster than I was with the 2008 version. I'm very confident, and anyway we're only at the beginning of our work and now we must use these months before April to improve the 2009 M1 even more.
What improvements are you hoping for in the next evolution model that you will test in Sepang [from February 5-7]?
In Sepang we will use our new bike…I will use my two bikes with the parts which I will use in the race, so I want to quickly try to find a good feeling. We're working a lot on the engine and we're trying to find a way to improve the acceleration a bit, and I think that this is the area in which we will be concentrating.
The wall is staying in your garage. Why do you want it to stay?
In our team there are two very strong riders and both of these riders are setting out to win the world championship. We found the arrangement to work very well in 2008 and so we will continue with it also in 2009.
Are you expecting Jorge to be one of your main title challengers this year?
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