MotoGP » 20 August 2009
Schwantz interview - part 2.
In the run-up to next weekend's Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, 1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz took part in a media teleconference organised by Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Here are a selection of the questions and answers from that conference - in part two Schwantz talks about Rossi's healthy world championship lead, James Toseland, Colin Edwards, Moto2 and Ben Spies...
Kevin, I wonder what the mood was after Brno in that are the other riders just signing off this championship to Rossi? He's got what, 50-odd points now?
I think it's right on 50 points. Lorenzo is enough of a competitor that I doubt he's given up until it's mathematically over. From an outsider's perspective just kind of standing back, looking and seeing what's going on, trying to think maybe what some of the other riders are thinking, absolutely.
You know, I knew Lorenzo was going to be better this year than he was last year, and he showed some real consistency. I don't know if I'm the one that put the hex on him or not but I was talking about it at Donington on Sunday, I did an interview with Suzi Perry on the grid, I said I just can't believe how consistent Lorenzo has been. Now it's been two races in a row he's tested the ground late in the race or at least into the race. He's given 25 points away each weekend.
So I see the Yamahas having a bit of a performance advantage right now. What it is they found that the other guys haven't, I'm not quite sure. But I think it's more of a two-horse race and especially like I talked about earlier with no Stoner out there, I think there's going to be the odd guys that will challenge at the front.
Here at Indy, I'm sure Nicky and Colin are both going to be really strong. But I still think championship-wise the 46 (Valentino Rossi) seems to kind of have the measure of everybody. I don't know if it's just a mental edge that the guy has, because I really felt like in watching practice both at Donington and in Czecho, that Lorenzo was fast, and he was smooth, and he was consistently fast. But Rossi has a way of just upping his game a little bit on Sunday afternoon, and it's been devastating to Lorenzo both weekends.
The year that Wayne (Rainey) won the championship when Mick Doohan broke his leg and three months before then it looked like Doohan, was Doohan's championship. So a smart rider is just going to keep pushing now, do you agree?
Absolutely. I think Rossi has shown that - he's been on the ground a couple of times the past two weekends, too, he just hasn't done it in the crucial parts of the race when it's going to cost him 25 points or he's managed to get up in the race and still get some points out of it. You know, as a racer, one of the most difficult things to do out there is to try and back off and just start thinking championship now. You lose a little bit of that motivation, you lose a bit of that speed. Then when you have to, it seems like it's even more difficult to find it back again. So I'm sure Rossi is going to continue to be Rossi here and going to love to win races just like he always has.
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