12 October 2015
MotoGP Japan: Rossi: Title calculations irrelevant, focus on Australia
'I never do these type of calculations because in 99 per-cent of times it don't happen, so we need to concentrate on Phillip Island and try to arrive in front of Jorge' - Valentino Rossi.
MotoGP title favourite Valentino Rossi is refusing to be drawn into mathematical calculations over the points scenarios that would enable him to seal a tenth world crown, committing instead to a tried and tested 'race by race' approach.
Rossi extended his lead at the top of the championship to 18 points over his Movistar Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo with a fine ride to second place behind Dani Pedrosa in the Japanese MotoGP at Motegi, earning a valuable result that could have a decisive bearing on the final outcome of the 2015 title race.
In the post-race press conference, Rossi was informed that he could afford to finish second in each of the final three rounds of the championship and still become world champion even if Lorenzo completed a hat-trick of wins, but the wily 36-year-old was reluctant to entertain the notion.
“For me, it is quite impossible; it's very difficult from now until the end [that] we are always first and second because the two Hondas are very strong and in three races we will have completely different conditions and three very different types of track,” Rossi said.
“I never do these type of calculations because in 99 per-cent of times it don't happen, so we need to concentrate on Phillip Island and try to arrive in front of Jorge: this is the target, more than making the calculations of arriving behind.”
Rossi admitted that he was able to use Pedrosa to boost his own pace in the race and close in on long-time leader Lorenzo to challenge for second place, eventually gaining the position when his title rival almost ran off the track at Turn 3.
“Dani helped me because in that moment he arrived very well and he give me the slipstream but also some good lines and some good information,” said Rossi.
“But is was a strange moment of the race because at this moment Jorge was very strong and very confident but we started to go slower, together, but the distance remained always the same.
“I tried to use Dani to catch Jorge and I was able to arrive, but it depends very much also of the condition of the tyre in that moment.”
Offering his view on why his front tyre appeared to hold out longer than Lorenzo's on the drying track, Rossi said: “It's very difficult to say, [it] could be some difference in the riding style or difference in the setting, but I don't know.”
Rossi opted to ride without the winglets on his M1 while Lorenzo favoured the aerodynamic upgrade, but the Italian joked that his bike was better without them.
“For me, it was better [without the winglets] because I arrive in front without the wings, but I don't know for Jorge why he use them,” he said.
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