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Nastro Azzuro Honda: Valentino Rossi statement

Nastro Azzuro Honda: Valentino Rossi statement

Valentino Rossi :

´ It was a very difficult, and very important race for me today. I raced at my best and I’m very happy. After my bad result at the German GP I really needed this win and now I have the same points gap over Biaggi I would have had if I had not crashed 200 metres from the finish at Mugello.

I knew Biaggi would be very dangerous in the first part of the race, trying very hard to open a gap, and for that reason we tried very hard in practice to get a front row start. I pushed very hard in the first laps, after making a good start, which was much better than is usual for me.I was third in the early laps behind Kenny Roberts and Biaggi but they were very fast and on lap three Biaggi set a new lap record at 2m 01.57s. That was probably the worst moment of the race for me. But I was able to run a similar time on the following lap. Finally on lap seven, after I had already passed Roberts, I made a lap at 2’01.46s which is a really good lap time here. But Biaggi was maintaining a very fast pace and the race was hard.

My intention was to hold second place behind him and eventually, at the end of the race, try to pass him when tyre performance was very poor, because in those conditions I usually do well.

But after putting in two laps a little bit slower, Biaggi tried very hard again on lap 13 and lost the front end. At that moment I had a very big advantage over the other riders, so the race was easy.

The only problem I had before the end was with a Bee that got into my helmet. I saw it and opened the visor and luckily it flew away.

Now my advantage is 29 points over Biaggi but we still have six races to go. We have to stay concentrated and keep working as hard as we did this weekend. I’m very happy with the way the team helped me here.´

500cc, 2001

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