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Rossi gives a rundown of his ninth title

Rossi gives a rundown of his ninth title

The nine-times World Champion talks past, present and future in an exclusive interview, and gives an overview of an historical 2009 season.

Valentino Rossi’s confirmation as 2009 World Champion at Sepang this year added yet another chapter to the Italian rider’s impressive list of accomplishments. A seventh title in the premier class – with one each in the 125cc and 250cc categories – served as further evidence, if ever it was needed, of his status as one of motorcycle Grand Prix racing’s all-time greats.

The 30 year-old’s crown came despite stiff competition from his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who served notice of his intention to push Rossi all the way for the title early on in the campaign.

“All the battles against Jorge, especially the closer battles like Barcelona, Assen and Sachsenring, were so important in terms of the final result,” Rossi started. “If there is one particular key moment, it is Catalunya. It was the highlight of the season I think. Over the next ten years, if I think back to 2009 I will probably remember the last lap and the last corner at Catalunya for sure.”

Rossi continued, “I knew that Jorge on the Yamaha-Bridgestone package would be very fast. Sometimes he surprised me because he can ride very fast, but I expected him to be a main opponent for the championship. It’s strange because you have the same bike as your rival, so you know his machine, but you don’t know what advantage each of you has.”

Winning is something Rossi has become accustomed to, but he still enjoys the challenge provided by rivals such as Lorenzo.

“The taste of victory is something special, better than anything else. But the battle, the thrill of the last lap, the excitement of overtaking comes very close,” he said. “To be World Champion for a ninth time is unbelievable. When you start you always think step by step. When I arrived in 125cc the first dream was to win the first race; the second dream was to win the championship, and after go to 250cc. You take it one step at a time, but I could never imagine winning nine World Championships.”

Concluding, Rossi touched on the subject of his future, adding, “In the middle of last year I decided to sign with Yamaha for another two years. This means that I feel ready for two more years. The goal is always the same: try to go faster than this year and try to defend the championship.”

“The relationship between me and Yamaha is something very special so to change bike and go to another team, I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

MotoGP, 2009, Valentino Rossi

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