Interview: Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi answers the fans' questions at Le Mans

At the Grand Prix de France at Le Mans, Valentino Rossi participated in a Monster Energy interview with MotoGP commentator Gavin Emmett to answer questions sent in by fans. He revealed his thoughts on recent developments, whether he can win with Ducati and what his favourite pizza topping is.

GE: What are your thoughts on Casey Stoner's retirement?

It is a shock for everybody, nobody expected it. I think he could have continued for another season, it is his own decision, he explained in the press conference and I think it is a great pity for the MotoGP world because we lose a great rider.

GE: What's your view on CRT changes to deal with the economic issues?

You know, in the perfect world we need 25 MotoGP bikes on the grid but unfortunately in this period we have to try to race for the next year's with a less expensive bike. Nobody is very happy, for the riders maybe this would be a step back but it is has to be done for now.

@martinhanlon asked: Can he win this year?

We will try but I think it will be very hard because we are too far behind at this moment and especially as the first three guys are flying and going very fast. We have to try and think step-by-step, in the last race at Portugal it was a bit better and we have to continue that way to arrive closer to the sixth, to the fifth, the fourth and after we will see. [Rossi scored his best finish on the Ducati, finshing second at Le Mans]

Can he see the light at the end of the tunnel?

We hope (laughs). Now we are closer and especially next week we will go to Mugello for another test and Ducati have prepared some new stuff to try to improve the performance of our bike. After that test I will answer whether we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

GE: Truth behind the news story revealing Rossi's "retirement"

It is unbelievable. I don't want to retire, I want to race for as long as possible, because for me it is my life and I have a great passion. I know that now I am 33, but I want to continue in MotoGP at a minimum for the next two years…This is real, this is true. I do not stop, I am not retiring!

One wish, what would it be?

To win a championship with the Ducati. It is easy, in this period every wish is easy for me!

@hay40189's 8-year-old mini moto racing son asked for any tips for becoming a MotoGP rider

Eight year old and riding a minimoto is the right way to one day arrive in MotoGP. Put in the maximum effort, maximum passion, it is not impossible.

GE: Thoughts on Moto3

I am following Moto3 closely because my younger brother (Luca Marini) is now 14 and this year he is racing for the first season in Moto3, in the Italian championship.

GE: Any chance for Luca?

I hope, I hope. He is quite fast.

@thepfd wanted to know which one rider in history Rossi would want to race against

Kevin Schwantz. I think a battle between me and Kevin would be very funny. It would be interesting.

@praxedes2: What do you do to keep fit?

I train everyday, I go the gym and I run. I try to stay on a motorcycle as much as possible, or anything with an engine like a go-kart or a motocross bike, supermotard, and some flat-track which is always very important. But for my body just normal training.

GE: Is training different at 33.

I have to do more, at 23 I did nothing. Now is more difficult

@Pedroboggins46 asked what band would Rossi like to play for and what instrument?

Guitar for Pink Floyd or a guitar for AC/DC or the drums

@rae3_rae wanted to know Rossi's favourite pizza topping

I always eat with buffalo mozzarella and ham. In our restaurant we used to eat the pizza with mayonnaise on top. Try this.

@SonniMoto asked what's your favourite ice cream?

Vanilla and also when I was younger there was this flavour, in Italiano it is called 'Puffi' - these small blue guys. The Smurfs, and they have this flavour. I like, I like.

From Moto3 and Moto2 @Hijau31 wanted to see who Rossi thought would be his Italian successor?

From Moto3 we have (Niccolo)Antonelli, (Romano) Fenati that are very fast and in Moto2 we also have a lot of fast riders. I like Andrea Iannone a lot, he is very fast and young. I hope there is a good future for Italy and we try to do a bit more like Spain to give some funding to the young guns.

@BeeBlade: Favourite helmet design ever?

The helmet with the face, from Mugello 2008. I think this was the funniest. That was the feeling going into Casanova-Savelli.

@roger69ramajets asked have you ever tried sidecar racing?

No, no, no, no. If I ride maybe this possible, but not on the side, I'd hate to be on the side. I don't want to be on the side, ever.

Teacher @PudsPost asked what did your school report used to say?

'He is quite clever, but he does not study.'

@MissBethAndrews: Favourite memory of Marco Simoncelli

I have a lot. Now I just build one big track in Tavulia, and when I'm doing big fourth gear slides I always think to Marco, fuck, if he was here he would enjoy a lot. I have a lot of memories, especially from when we trained together.

@VitaMotorbreath wanted to know if Rossi talked, shouted, screamed or made any noise when you are racing

Yeah, especially when I make a mistake in one corner I say 'fuck' or when I did a great battle with another rider I laugh because I enjoy.

Simple question from @east46: Scarlett Johansson or Angelina Jolie

(signs)…difficult. Angelina.

Why did you choose the colour yellow?

Because when I arrive in the world championship in 1996, I spoke with Aldo Drudi the designer of my helmet and he thinks for me, he say 'you have to put on your helmet one big sun' so from that moment we decide for the yellow, as it is the colour of the sun.

Nigel Crowley asked: Why don't you get your leathers made a bit bigger so you're not always pulling them out of your bum?

I think now it is something like a superstition. It is something automatic before I go out on track. It just happens. One of the routines.

Would you ever consider opening a riding school?

It is possible because now we also have The Ranch, and we want to try something for the younger riders. It is something to think about for when I stop. Like Colin's bootcamp.

Do you ever need to go to the toilet whilst racing?

Yes, a lot of times. Especially before the start. If I pee whilst in the pit, I need to pee again when I get to the grid.

@East46 wanted to know why he prefers British bulldogs to Chihuahuas

I like British bulldogs because of their character, they're very quiet, very relaxed, don't have a lot of power to go around, always lazy on the sofa. Also, very brave.

@miriamyellow46: Any dream you still want to achieve in your life?

My dream when I was young was to become a World Champion, so this is the bigger dream of my life. Now my dream, and I hope to continue for more seasons and have some other good victories and races, but from that point I have to start to think of the normal things in life, like the family, children, maybe, maybe. But before I have to find a good girl.

Are you best hours still after midnight?

I still like the night, maybe now I become older it is not after midnight, more like after 11. Now I go to sleep earlier before the race, when I was younger I used to always go to sleep very late, now I am old I have to sleep longer to feel fresh in the morning.