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Schwantz interview - part 2.

Do you see it as an opportunity for yourself? I mean, if it's an open seat, you would like to manage a team? Do you see that it could be a Moto2 team, would that be a possibility?

Kevin Schwantz:

Is it going to happen or is it just you'd like to and you're waiting for the phone to ring?

Kevin Schwantz:
I think right now with what all is on my plate, right now it's going to have to be that phone call that happens for me to want to undertake something like that. But, you know, I carry my phone with me all the time. So, everybody, call away if that's what you want.

Indianapolis is a major sports town both in professional sports here in the U.S. and also in amateur sports. But you could make the argument that Valentino Rossi will be the biggest worldwide athlete to compete in Indianapolis this year.

You travel all over the world to these GPs. Could you put Valentino's celebrity status, his rock star status as a worldwide athlete, not just as a motorcycle racer but a worldwide athlete, into perspective out there?

Kevin Schwantz:
That's really tough for me to do. I guess the one thing I read the other day or saw on a sports channel somewhere, that he was the eighth most-popular sports athlete anywhere in the world. That's golf, that's basketball, that's motorsports, that's everything that happens from a sporting perspective. That's soccer, that's cricket, that's all those different sports worldwide.

When you come to a grand prix to see just how many people have yellow on because Rossi and that 46 are kind of synonymous with the color yellow, when you look up into the stands and see how much yellow there is there, you'll see what a huge draw he is from a motorcycle perspective. But he's the guy that I doubt can go anywhere without being recognized because he's just such a - he's not a clown, but he's such a laid back, easy-going guy.

When the race finishes, he shows his happiness and expresses it when he wins, and he kind of beats up on himself when he does something silly like he did at Donington when he fell down. You know: "I just made a mistake, I'm lucky I got up and was able to finish fifth."

I think Rossi more than anybody out there in MotoGP right now just shows that he's human. I think that's what makes people like him as much as they do, is one day he can be perfect and the next day he can, as he probably put it, "I can screw up just a little bit." So I think that, just that he's a normal guy from a normal upbringing that has found a way to ride a motorcycle faster than anybody in the world right now, but also still be pretty much an ordinary guy.

Laguna Seca has had a grand prix since 1988. You yourself have said several times you weren't a huge fan of Laguna as a rider. You did fairly well there, really well there, but it just wasn't one of your favorite tracks. You know, you came to motorcycle racing sort of anti-establishment. You didn't come from California and came from Texas. From that perspective, what does it mean to have a MotoGP race here in the heartland?

Kevin Schwantz:
I think to have a race here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is – you know, the California thing, Laguna Seca is a great racetrack, it's a great layout. It's ultracompetitive. It's one of those places that you've really got to be on your game.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Schwantz,  British MotoGP 2009
Kevin Schwantz visits Suzuki HQ
Schwantz, Yoshimura Suzuki, Suzuki MotoGP test, Circuit of the Americas, 2014.
Brivio, Schwantz, De Puniet, Aoki, Suzuki MotoGP test, Circuit of the Americas, 2014.
Schwantz, De Puniet, Aoki, Suzuki MotoGP test, Circuit of the Americas, 2014.
Schwantz, De Puniet, Aoki, Suzuki MotoGP test, Circuit of the Americas, 2014.
Kevin Schwantz rides Suzuki MotoGP machine (Pic: Suzuki)
Kevin Schwantz tests Suzuki MotoGP bike (Pic: Suzuki).
Schwantz, Grand Prix of the Americas 2014
Uncini and Schwantz, Grand Prix of the Americas 2014
Schwantz helmet display, Grand Prix of the Americas 2014
Schwantz leathers on display, Grand Prix of the Americas 2014
Schwantz leathers on display, Grand Prix of the Americas 2014
Schwantz board, Grand Prix of The Americas, 2014
Schwantz, Herrin, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2014
Schwantz, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2014
Herrin, Hayden, RAbat, Bradl, Schwantz, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2014
Schwantz, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2014

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Can hardly wait! - Unregistered

August 21, 2009 6:28 AM

I'm curious to see how well Ben's "strong arm" style of riding, which is quite impressive on a superbike, will carry over to 800cc GP bikes. He just might not do as well as a lot of us are expecting.

Jiri Simek

August 21, 2009 9:06 AM

Well the difference is quite big in fact! Valentino has gone through the two-strokes (125cc & 250cc) and learned how to handle a really light machine with excellent brakes. On the other hand Ben has never ridden a two-stroke bike, but rather raced the heavier production bikes such as the GIXXER. Kevin is right that it is a tough call to judge what Ben is capable of on a formula(MOTOGP bike) which is so much different from the bikes he has been riding for all of his life. Anyway, I am pretty much convinced he will do well! GO ELLBOWZ :-o

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