30 January 2015
MotoGP: Rossi and Lorenzo ‘like Senna and Prost’
“We have a relationship like Senna and Prost, but I hope it doesn't end like in that final corner at Suzuka!” - Jorge Lorenzo.
As Movistar Yamaha's 2015 MotoGP colours were revealed to the world on Wednesday at the Spanish telephone giant's headquarters in Madrid, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi fielded questions from the international media.
Crash.net was on hand to hear what the second and third best riders in last year's standings had to say…
What are your objectives for 2015?
Valentino Rossi: [Winning the championship] It's a good challenge, no doubt. From 2013 to 2014 I think we made a good leap in quality, improving our package and at the end of last season we were always competitive. But winning the world championship is very complicated. The important thing is to be in a good shape from the beginning. The second part of last season we add many points, we went many times on the podium and the bike improved a lot. We will try to follow that line.
Jorge Lorenzo: I always answer the same: I do not like to predict the future. So it depends on me doing a great job. I know that in Japan they have done a great job too because they want to win. I'm excited to see how the bike behaves, but I have a good feeling. 2014 ended well, but I could finish no higher than third in the championship. Marquez made an extraordinary year and Valentino was very strong so I found it hard because I was very inconsistent at first. However from the Sachsenring the races went pretty well. I will try to continue and always be on the podium
Where can the M1 be improved?
Valentino Rossi: The weight of the bike is a little bit less [this year]. It's not a big difference but it's smaller for the rider, for the braking. We will try to work together with Yamaha in some different areas where last year we struggle - like braking and braking entry without forget the stability of the bike in acceleration. Also the engine mapping, a smooth bike [that] is easy to ride.”
Have you developed your style?
Jorge Lorenzo: I have a specific style but it isn't so different from other riders. Valentino has changed his style and it is now a little more similar to me. I arrived later [than him] so it was difficult. I work on my style when I train. With enough time I try to perfect it. The perfect style doesn't exist but it's an effective style for this bike.
How do you train over the winter months?
Valentino Rossi: It's always changing as we get older we must work harder to stay fit. I do a lot of work in the gym to try to have more strength and be more agile. But I also do a lot of movement training in motion. I started late last year by training in the flat track, motocross and supermoto. I'm happy because I train with the Academy guys and it's a lot of fun.
Jorge Lorenzo: I've been competing since I was ten years old I had to explore all the possibilities – minimotos, motocross. I had the chance to try all different things and methods to keep fit. I always try to train hard, but in 2014 I neglected it a bit and I planned it wrong. We must learn from our mistakes, so I had a short vacation in a sunny place [during winter] and from the first of January I have been training in Andorra. I'm currently as thin and wiry as I was when came to MotoGP in 2008.
How can you combat Marquez in 2015?
Valentino Rossi: It wasn't easy. In 2013 I tried to improve my feeling to come back at the top. I was very happy because in 2013 I tried to fight with the top three. I did a lot of podiums and a good amount of points at the end of the season. But to try and fight for the championship I have to do another step and try to arrive first to win some races and try to always stay at the level of Jorge and Marc from the first race.
Jorge Lorenzo: Marc was very strong last year. I started badly while Valentino was fast from the start. But now I have many years of experience in the class. We have to concentrate day-by-day, month-by-month, and all the time getting stronger in concentration and knowledge. I feel better, I have improved my feeling and fitness since 2014, this is more or less what I've done over the winter. [But] To be honest I don't focus on my rivals, I focus on myself
How do you find working together?
Valentino Rossi: I think with Jorge we are a very good team. It is a longer relationship. A lot of seasons together and we always improve the result. There have been a lot of hard battles. It's a great motivation to try and fight with him and arrive in front of him of Sunday. It's good to go straight to the high level. I think we can work together and the common objective is to improve the bike. At the end the target is the same. It's try to win and beat the other one. This is a good motivation.
Jorge Lorenzo: My first year in the team was tough. In 2008 Valentino had already spent several years with Yamaha. I was really excited at first and wanted to win everything. It was difficult but as time went by our relationship changed. I have more experience and am more comfortable with the bike. We have a relationship like Senna and Prost in their moment, but I hope it doesn't end like in that final corner at Suzuka!
Can the Repsol Honda/Movistar Yamaha monopoly be challenged in 2015?
Valentino Rossi: Last year the two Honda and the two Yamaha were the stronger bikes on the grid. I think more or less we will continue. You know Ducati is not very far, especially at the end of last season. In qualifying and the first part of the race Ducati is always very competitive. I think they work in a logical way and I expect the two factory Ducati to arrive not so far from us. After the non-factory rider I think Pol Espargaro will be very, very strong. The Yamaha of the Tech3 are not very far from the 'Factory' [spec]. About the Hondas everybody is very curious about Cal Crutchlow [and] if he's able to be strong with the Honda like he was with the Yamaha.
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