MotoGP »

'We never gave up' - Valentino Rossi on MotoGP victory return

"We were not sure if we could come back for victory, but we never gave up. We never said 'it's over'" - Valentino Rossi.
Saturday at Assen was the moment MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi feared would never happen.

After romping to a record 79 wins for Honda and Yamaha from 2000-2010 - an average of over seven victories per season - The Italian's success ground to a complete halt during two dark years at Ducati.

Rossi then cut his losses, re-joining Yamaha and reigning double champion Jorge Lorenzo.

After mixed performances in the opening six rounds, Rossi's victory doubts were finally erased at the Dutch TT.

“I'm happy, but I still don't believe it!” said Rossi on Saturday evening. “I have to see the race another two or three times, as I cross the finish line in first position. Sincerely I wasn't sure if I could win again because it is a long time since the last victory. We passed through two very difficult seasons, very frustrating, with a lot of bad results.”

Rossi paid tribute to his mechanics, led by crew chief Jerry Burgess, many of whom he has worked with since his premier-class debut in 2000.

“I have to say thank you first of all to Yamaha and also my team - all my guys that fought with me and, like me, never gave up in the difficult seasons,” said the seven time MotoGP champion. “We were not sure if we could come back for victory, but we never gave up. We always tried. We never said 'it's over'.

“To win in Assen is also something special. It is an old fashioned circuit and I won my 100th grand prix [in all classes] here in 2009. My rivals are very strong and very fast, but I hope if I ride like this I can fight every weekend. This is the target.”

Starting fourth on the grid, Rossi was behind only the Repsol Hondas of Marc Marquez and title leader Dani Pedrosa by the end of the opening lap. The Doctor overtook the RCVs on laps 5 and 6 respectively, then held firm for a two-second victory.

“For me the race was perfect,” said Rossi. “I did a great start. I was able to overtake Cal [Crutchlow] and also Bradl at the end of the first lap and I was with the two Hondas. This was my target because I knew Marc and Dani were the strongest.

“I was a bit faster in two or three parts and went in front. When I saw Marc [in second] on my pit board instead of Dani I thought, 'now I will understand if I can win'. My lead went up and I thought 'okay, continue like this'.”

Valentino Rossi: "I thought, 'F**k! If Lorenzo arrives in front of me with a broken collarbone it is a big problem!'"

Rossi also joked that he gained extra motivation during the race from the heroic performance of injured team-mate Lorenzo.

“At one moment I saw on the big screen that Lorenzo was very close to me and I thought, 'F**k! If he arrives in front of me with a broken collarbone it is a big problem!' That gave me 0.2-0.3 every lap!” he smiled.

Rossi hadn't won since October 2010, in Malaysia, claiming just three podiums on the Desmosedici.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rossi, Moto2 race, Dutch MotoGP 2013
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl, Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Dovizioso, Espargaro Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Bradl, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Crutchlow, Vinales, Australian MotoGP 2016

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


July 01, 2013 2:32 PM
Last Edited 1212 days ago

RidgeRacerHRC What a punk.. you talck like that because you dont have 34 year old and you are racing with the best of the World, But maybe Lorenzo and Pedrosa are not the best in the world for you? because they also ride one Yamaha and Honda machine.. I guess you favorit must be the fisher man that have a big mouth but go to honda to crash on the 2 year , loss the Champ and retire like a bitch complaing about everythingh.. 4sure this guy that is much younger then Rossi is your hero.. He was a hero if he had worck like Rossi on the Repsol just Joke, Win and say this is boring with Honda is very esay.. Then he g for Yamaha and Rock.. Your here only win in 2007 because of the advantages he had, Casey is very good and fast but he also needs ecerythingh worcking very well or he will crash very hard. Casey is good but will never be has consistente has Lorenzo or Rossi and with consistency is how riders win Titles..

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.