History is repeating. You know Filippo [Preziosi, Ducati Corse general director] came to me and asked lots of questions. The last question was 'will you come to Ducati?' [laughs]. No, no, no. Anyway I gave him lots of hints to win and it looks like he copied my strategy.
Wow! That was very sporting. When did he come and talk to you?
Before the Valencia test. Before Valentino first rode the Ducati.
Can I ask what you told Filippo, or some of what you told him?
Yes. The first thing he asked me, was to invite myself and my wife to visit the Ducati factory. Because I was a fan of the Ducati, it really touches the heart - I mean the production bike. Not the MotoGP! I am not a fan of what I race against!
Then Filippo did almost the same process as I did for Rossi in 2004. He prepared maybe two or three types of bike in Valencia. And Valentino selected the 'right' one. But from now on I don't want to say anything.
It looks like now Valentino is a little bit confused with the Ducati... That is good! But still I am keeping a good friendship with Valentino. Sometimes he calls me and I give him some small hint. A clue.
I think we can keep a good relationship with each other - and I need his autograph for a poster! I'm still a fan of Valentino.
How did you feel when you were watching Jorge and Valentino battling so closely at Motegi last year? From the TV images you seemed relaxed, compared with some other people in the team...
This is interesting for me. Everything has both sides. In order to be a good engineer for racing, you have to lots of fun and passion. But if you have strong passion, almost crazy, it's too much. Your vision is so narrow.
I would say I have a much more open-mind, a wider vision than 'crazy guy'! But weakness is maybe not so professional to the racing. But at the same time I am always calculating, analysing and using lots of logic, which is different from most of the empirical methods in racing.
For me it is really good, because everybody here is so crazy when they are watching the races. They are so excited. I'm pretty much relaxed. I'm excited, but much less than the typical people in the paddock.
I'm always looking precisely at the racing, with not too much tears and shouting. I don't get too high or low. Although, to be honest, the first race win with Valentino in South Africa was very exciting. One guy in the team passed out, some guys were crying and some were jumping into the pool...
Would you say that win, in Rossi's first race for Yamaha, is the moment you remember most about your time in MotoGP?
Yes. That is a good memory for me.