ON the eve of the Monza rally, Valentino Rossi has aired his views on Italian radio on a variety of topics, with Johann Zarco, his future and Yamaha’s 2018 chief among them.
Speaking on the Deejay Chiama Italia radio show, Rossi jokingly compared Zarco, a rider with whom he has endured several close calls in the past year, to Formula1’s Max Verstappen, who has been the subject of several complaints from the class’ leading names.
“Verstappen is like Zarco,” Rossi said, his translated words appearing on the Italian GP One website. “Neither one of them ever brakes. You have to move to the side with him, because the danger is that both of you will end up going out.”
The topic of Rossi’s future was also broached. The 38-year old admitted he was “afraid” to quit racing in MotoGP but will continue to do so as long as he is competitive.
However, it won’t end there. Rossi foresees a future competing in cars thereafter, with the Le Mans 24 Hours event among his dreams.
“I am afraid to quit,” he said. “When I stop racing on the MotoGP bike, I’ll still have 10 years to race cars, for example in rally racing, but on the track too.”
“I would like to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As long as I am competitive, I will definitely want to race, since it is a great commitment.”
Rossi also alluded to 2018. Aside from stating he could have won the ’16 MotoGP title, Rossi feels Yamaha must “make a leap forward” so as to be capable of challenging Marc Marquez and others for the main crown next November.
“In 2016 I could have done it, but this year it was more difficult,” he said. “It will all depend on me and on the bike. Now Yamaha needs to make a leap forward in quality.
“Maverick and I did a lot of hard work and now the ball is in their court and the Japanese will have to work on the frame and the engine.”
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