16 August 2012
Rossi: Lorenzo tough to beat
“For sure, the world title is a dream,” he said of 2013. “In my condition now, [we] have to understand if I'm still a top rider, if I'm still fast, and if I can fight for the front row, if I can still fight for the podium.
“I don't know, because after two seasons like this, nobody knows. So before I speak about the championship, I have to understand if I can fight from the front row, I can fight for the podium. And after, we will see.”
Rossi continued: “Jorge has become stronger than when I was with him in Yamaha - in 2010 he was [already] very strong. And he is riding the M1 at an incredible level without any mistakes. So it's a question mark for me, I don't know [if I will be at Lorenzo's level].”
One thing that is certain is that the wall that previously divided Rossi and Lorenzo in the Yamaha pits, at Rossi's request, will not be present.
“No, no, [no wall] nothing. We will be very close with Jorge if he agrees,” smiled Rossi.
“No problem,” added Lorenzo. “I always said the wall is a stupid thing. It doesn't make sense for anything. No wall is OK for me and I think for Vale this time.”
Rossi also stamped out speculation that he needs to bring sponsorship to Yamaha, which has been without title backing since Rossi's 2010 exit.
“This is bullsh*t. I don't know why I have to bring money to race with Yamaha. I am happy about my contract, and my contract is fixed,” said Rossi.
“So I hope that Yamaha can find a good sponsor for next year. I think they speak with some other guys and - yes, it's true speak with Monster but already before I arrive. And the team will not be separate, for sure.
“I don't know if maybe have one bike will have one sponsor, the other bike a little bit different, but I think not. I think will be all the same.”
Rossi will be 34 and Lorenzo 25 at the start of next season. Both are contracted to Yamaha until 2014.
Yamaha won the Triple Crown of Riders', Teams' and Manufacturers' MotoGP titles when Rossi and Lorenzo raced together from 2008-2010.
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