Valentino Rossi's interview with Italian GQ

A translation of Rossi's interview with the Italian lifestyle magazine

Below is a snippet of the interview with Valentino Rossi from GQ Italy

Since you’ve hurt yourself, it seems that Stoner and Lorenzo have finally found the courage to say what they really think about you.

Yes, and I am glad. When you are injured and start to lose blood, the younger ones immediately feel stronger and think they can tear you apart: it’s like the jungle! But I like it. That’s just the way it is.

At the beginning, Lorenzo, like Stoner, used to say: “Ah, Valentino, he was my hero when I was little”, but it is not true. It’s all rubbish. I am just an obstacle, a target. Like Biaggi was for me.

When 2 people are fighting for the same goal, it is normal to hate each other. You are lying if you deny it. I am not talking about homicidal hate but violent, yes. As such, it pleases me that Stoner and Lorenzo say what they really think about me. Because it is the truth.

We watched the race at Mugello, and when Lorenzo was in front of the cameras wishing you to get well soon, we were amazed. What do you think?

How fake…

Imagine you could invent a new motorcycle racing championship, what would your rules be?

Firstly, the right number of competitors is 24 or 26. At the moment, I would keep the four-stroke. It is true that everyone likes the 500cc 2-stroke but the world now unfortunately goes with the four-stroke.

I believe the correct displacement is 1000cc, not 800cc with a limit of 16,000 to 17,000 rpm, not 19,000 as it is right now, so that the bikes cannot reach 220mph. In my opinion, 195 mph is sufficient.

Then, I would remove a lot of electronics and many tricks that help guiding the bike.

It might take a little traction control, a little help, because the bikes would be powerful, but I would like a quarter of electronics we use now.

You know, we can now set the power, gas and traction control at every corner, for each gear.

The bike knows exactly where it is on track. When taking advantage of the electronics, you can adapt it so that it takes every curve perfectly.

I would keep the traction control but it should be fixed, not adaptable to any type of curve.
And no anti-surge control, no control on the brakes: so we would see beautiful overtakes, large drifts in the braking zone and good battles during the races.

For me, the championship would be better that way.

And what about the tyres? Maximum openings. The competition between manufacturers is a positive thing.

Is Jorge Lorenzo psychologically stronger than Biaggi and Gibernau?

The fact is that my rivals now, especially Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Stoner are a new generation and they are faster than Sete and Max. I have no doubt about that. Of the three, I think Lorenzo is the most balanced.

Why did you decide to change teams? Ducati’s history, the records, money, fame, adrenaline…What?

Ducati is Italian like me. If I wanted to chase Agostini’s record, I would stay with Yamaha. It would be easier. For sure, the move isn’t about money because Ducati is giving me the same amount I am getting at Yamaha. I never chose the bike I am racing based on money.

Yamaha had made me an offer. I went to the Ducati and I said, “I guess that’s a good number?”. They said yes, and the issue was resolved.

It was easy. It’s the desire to try new sensations, to push myself.