25 October 2009
Rossi celebrates latest world championship.
“I also have to thank my family and friends - Stefania, Graziano, Uccio, Albi...so many! All the team, Yamaha and Bridgestone; together we've done a great, great job and it's always a huge enjoyment to ride and work with these people.
“In order to stay at this level through a whole season you have to be calm and have the right people around you and this is what I have. We've stayed concentrated and focused even in the bad moments, so we can congratulate ourselves with this ninth title.”
Rossi suffered a scare at the start of the race when he ran wide whilst trying to outbrake Dani Pedrosa into turn one and had plummeted to tenth - behind Lorenzo, who had started from the back of the grid – by the end of a soaking first lap.
The #46 then shadowed his team-mate up the order, before taking fourth from the young Spaniard on lap eight of 21. That became third position when Andrea Dovizioso crashed out on lap 15, allowing Rossi to reach his target of celebrating championship victory from the podium.
"Without the rain it could have been a brilliant race, with the four top riders fighting together, but the rain changed it," said Rossi of the weather. "It was scary for everyone because all the work we'd done was useless and we were riding 'blind' with the setting.
“I made a good start but I made a mistake at the first corner in braking, it felt like I was braking for one year and I went wide!” he smiled. “Of course I wanted to win but after the first corner it was difficult with Casey so strong so I went for the podium. I really enjoyed the race and I think it was great to watch.
"After Dovizioso unfortunately crashed I tried to go with Dani but then he started to push and I already had the podium, so I decided to take it a bit easier. I was happy to risk a little for the podium, but it wasn't sensible to keep taking risks for second when the championship was safe.”
As has come to be expected, Rossi and his fan club had a special celebration waiting for the #46 after the race - who was handed a t-shirt and helmet with the number 9 on and the words 'old hens make the best soup'. A live hen, complete with Rossi livery, was also on hand, as were nine eggs!
"The t-shirt and the celebration is called the 'Gallina Vecchia!" In Italian we say that the old chicken makes good soup, but it's no use for laying eggs. I am old now, 30, but this old hen has made another egg today and now we have nine!” he said. “As usual I thought it up at home in Tavullia, together with my fan club, and we had great fun designing the t-shirt and the helmet.”
2009 was unique for Rossi, since it marked the first time since joining the premier-class that his team-mate had also been his main title rival.
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