Valentino Rossi has spoken out for the first time since the terrorist threats were made against him, telling an Italian newspaper of his frustration at the limits now placed upon him for his own safety - at a time when he should be relaxing after a long season's racing.

In a note attached to a parcel bomb sent to Iberian Airlines, Rossi was warned to severe all links with Spanish Petroleum company Repsol, his Honda team's sponsor, or 'face the consequences'.

"I'm afraid because there's nothing I can do," Rossi told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "They accuse me of having a contract with Repsol, but this isn't the case. My contract is exclusively with the team and I cannot choose its sponsors."

Nevertheless, as a result of the threat Rossi is under close supervision by the Italian Military police and has been advised not to appear in public and consider anything he says carefully. For someone as open and friendly as Rossi, such limits are hard to adjust to.

"This is the only time of the year when I can have a holiday after a hard year's racing, but instead of relaxing I have to be careful about where I go and what I say," explained Valentino, who looks set to miss the FIM Awards this Saturday, where he had been due to officially collect his 2002 MotoGP crown.

"We're all very worried. The problem is the tension's rising instead of falling," said Valentino's mother. "We hope it will be resolved quickly so Valentino can have some peace - he needs it."

Rossi is now believed to have returned to his London apartment.