Valentino Rossi has confirmed that should he and MotoGP World Championship leading team-mate Jorge Lorenzo be battling for victory heading into the final turn of Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix, then the Italian is prepared to repeat his controversial 2005 clash with Sete Gibernau.
Four years' ago at Jerez, Rossi and Gibernau exchanged the lead on several occasions during a thrilling last lap, with local star Gibernau gaining the advantage heading into the final turn.
However Rossi, typically refusing to settle for second, launched a do-or-die attack by diving for the inside of the 90-degree left hander. The pair clashed at the apex, sending Gibernau's Movistar Honda spearing off track whilst Rossi rode to victory (see full picture sequence below).
The podium ceremony marked the only time that Rossi has been booed, but the #46 remained defiant, insisting that it had been a harsh but fair pass.
Rossi, Lorenzo and Gibernau were all present in Thursday's press conference, where Rossi was asked if he would repeat the move on Fiat Yamaha team-mate Lorenzo, who currently sits one point in front of the Italian after victory in last Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.
“Yes,” said Rossi eventually, whilst stressing that he hadn't intended to make contact with Gibernau.
Lorenzo, who caught and overtook Rossi en route
to victory at Motegi, joked that he would defend against such an attack by turning his M1 into a fighting chariot.
Meanwhile Gibernau, who publically buried his feud with Rossi when the pair shook hands in the Qatar press conference, offered one word of advice to young countryman Lorenzo should the situation arise:
Gibernau will be starting his first Spanish Grand Prix since 2006 on Sunday.
“Since the opportunity to come back to MotoGP, this was the place I was really hoping to come to,” said the 2004 Jerez winner. “It brings me really great memories, it's very special and there's not another grand prix like this one. To be back here is really impressive. I felt nervous on my way in!”
Last year's Spanish Grand Prix was won by another Spaniard, Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, ahead of Rossi and Lorenzo, who qualified on pole.