Rossi: 'Stoner wasn't man enough'

The Doctor pulls no punches once again

VALENTINO ROSSI still can't resist a dig at former rival Casey Stoner. 

In an interview with Dainese's new digital magazine, Legends, Rossi expressed the view that recently-retired Stoner has never recovered his pride after taking second at Laguna Seca four years ago. He said: 'Stoner started to hate me just because he lost.

'After that, he always seemed to talk about the past, this race, because he wasn't man enough to understand that at that time, he lost!'

Some might be surprised that Rossi's two poor seasons with Ducati, where Stoner excelled, have not replenished the Doctor's supply of humility...

Not for the first time, Rossi went on to bemoan the attitude of professionalism now dominant in the sport: 'In the last few years, the sport has become too serious and so have the riders.

'In the past it was more just about bravery but now everybody is more serious and very athletic. They diet and train a lot and don't have a normal life. I think it's important to be able to have fun too!'

On what keeps him competing: 'For me it's the taste of victory, its something different from all other things. It's like a drug. This is the main reason for racing. Unfortunately, it's very short lived - only three or four hours - the next day, you need more. It never stops.'

Rossi has returned to his former team Yamaha for the 2013 season, where fans will eagerly anticipate a resurgence. Stoner has now retired from the sport.