MotoGP

Rossi is belittling me, says Stoner

Stoner believes that Rossi has been making excuses against his dominant performance with Honda in 2011

REIGNING MotoGP champion Casey Stoner has said that Valentino Rossi has been trying to discredit his championship winning efforts with Repsol Honda.

“Valentino is saying and doing everything to belittle what I, my team, Honda did last year," said Stoner to Italian magazine Motosprint, "It’s not true that Honda spent a lot of money, because it’s not a company of stupid people.

"It would have made no sense to invest a lot on a bike, the 800cc, that would soon be retired, while the new 1000cc was being developed.

"As a matter of fact in 2011 Honda didn’t do much more than usual and the proof is that the 2011 bike wasn’t so different from the 2010 one, except for the gearbox and my bike remained practically the same throughout the season. The truth is that Honda already had a good bike even before my arrival, they just needed someone new to make the difference.”

Stoner also spoke candidly on his treatment at the hands of the media and how the public are showing him more respect for his performance last season: “Everything has changed very quickly. Previously I’d get nothing but mistrust from the media, and generally very little consideration for what I was doing and all the effort I was putting in and then Valentino and I switched bikes.

"He was on the one that I used for four years, and I was on the bike of my dreams to show the world what I’m capable of doing. This allowed me to let everyone understand that I could have also fought for the title and that I could have won at least another one.”

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