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Valentino Rossi - Q&A: Yamaha MotoGP launch

23 March 2013

A Yamaha generated interview with seven time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi, to coincide with Friday's unveiling of the team's 2013 race livery.

Rossi has not won a MotoGP race since the end of 2010, just before his switch to Ducati. He returns to Yamaha, alongside reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo, this year.

A video of the interview can be found below...

Q:
Has your comeback to Yamaha been 'just like music'?

Valentino Rossi:
Yes, my come back to Yamaha is a great story and a great bet, for me but also for Yamaha. After two seasons separate, we are back together to come back to the top.

Q:
How good does it feel to be back home in the Yamaha family?

Valentino Rossi:
It's a great feeling. I was a bit worried. More than worried, I did not know what to expect about the atmosphere in the team. At the end it was and still is great from every point of view. Yamaha is a family for me. I shared with them the best moments of my career and I always had great time, so I think it’s to be continued in the same way.

Q:
When you said goodbye to your M1 in 2010, you wrote her a letter stating you were in love. Are you going to write a new letter this time?

Valentino Rossi:
That letter was very funny. I think I do not have to write another letter, as we are now starting from where we stopped in 2010. It's like the last two years never happened...

Q:
Yamaha gave you your greatest satisfaction as rider when you won the first Championship with them in 2004. Do you feel like a child with candy again now?

Valentino Rossi:
A child with a candy is exactly my feeling now! Going on the M1 again was a great feeling for me and the first tests were pretty good. We are not yet ready but not so far from being ready for the first race.

Q:
Has the M1 changed a lot since you left Yamaha in 2010?

Valentino Rossi:
Yes, the M1 has changed a lot in the last two seasons and it was a great surprise in the first test. The basis is very similar to the bike I left in 2010 but I feel that the bike has improved a lot in every area and in all the circuit parts. Yamaha did a great job in the last two seasons. The new bike has a better stability, better grip, easier to ride, better electronic system. Furthermore, the 4-in line 1000cc engine has more advantages compared to the 800cc with whom we struggled for some time.

Q:
After some disappointments, does a champion still feel like a champion?

Valentino Rossi:
Yes, I am very lucky because in my career I have won many races, lots of great achievements and lots of World Championships so… yes, I still feel like a champion.

Q:
Why is Yamaha the best bike for you?

Valentino Rossi:
Yamaha is the best bike for me because it's very suitable to my riding style and with the M1 I am able to give more than 100%. The bike is very precise and you need to ride it in a very clear way, which is what I like a lot. Yes, it's a great bike for me and for my riding style.

Q:
What would you say to all those who think that Valentino is getting too old. Do you feel you still have what it takes to be champion?

Valentino Rossi:
Unfortunately I am quite old, this is true.... but I feel very good! I think the mental and the physical conditions are very important, and from this point of view I am in good shape. Especially the motivation is very important: the motivation to make everything possible to stay at the top and I still have this motivation.

Q:
Jorge Lorenzo welcomed you back to Yamaha. Have you changed your perception of him?

Valentino Rossi:
I changed my perception of Jorge especially in the last two years. I had a lot of troubles but Jorge was always very friendly with me and also when he noticed I was coming back to Yamaha he was very happy, so I think that we can be a good team in the next two seasons.

Q:
The ice has been broken. The answers you were waiting for have finally arrived. Are you satisfied with your pre-season work?

Valentino Rossi:
At this point I am very much satisfied. In Sepang the bike worked very well and we were already quite fast. Of course I know that the pre-season test is very different than the real races, so we'll have to wait until 7th April to have the answer.

Q:
In your opinion what's the current YZR-M1 missing to be the perfect bike?

Valentino Rossi:
The M1 is a great bike because it has a perfect balance, is very friendly with the rider, easy to be brought to the limit. For sure we have to work a lot in different areas to be on top, because our competitors improve all the time. I think we need to improve the speed and the stability in acceleration, to exit faster from the corners.

Q:
What season do you expect to have after these early tests?

Valentino Rossi:
I hope to enjoy. I hope I can fight again for the podium and to win some races. After that, we'll see where we are in the Championship ranking.

Q:
What would a podium in the first race mean for you?

Valentino Rossi:
It would mean a lot to me. Trying to be on the podium again and fight to win some races has been my target since I signed with Yamaha, last year.




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