Gibernau hoping for Rossi revival

Gibernau hoping for Rossi revival
Friday, 24 May 2013

Valentino Rossi has gained support from an arguably unexpected source. Former title rival Sete Gibernau claims he would very much like to see the Italian returning to the top of MotoGP™ before he eventually heads into retirement.

Gibernau was a strong rival to Rossi midway through the last decade, winning eight Grands Prix across 2003 and 2004 to twice finish runner-up to the Italian while competing on the Gresini-run Telefonica Movistar Honda. The pair’s relationship was strained following a last-corner clash at the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix of 2005 in Jerez; eight years later, the Spaniard is keen for a reversal in Rossi fortunes following two difficult years for the multiple champion with Ducati Team.

"I have spoken with Valentino a couple of times and have told him I would like to see him win again," Gibernau, now 40, told motogp.com at the launch of the Andreani-MHS company headed up by MotoGP™ crew chief Juan Martinez.

"The truth right now is that, with the new guys, the new bikes and how the tyres and all of the electronics look to be working, I think the whole technique has changed a little bit and that is what is making it a tougher time for Valentino. It looks like there is a lot of traction on the edge of the corner and the corner speed is really high, so you don’t need to have the riding style that Valentino had when I was racing.

"I would like to see him fighting for the win again. I have great memories of all of those years. It was three or four years in which we battled for the championship really hard and I think they were the best years of my life. Like I say, I would like to see Valentino up there winning until he retires and I hope that this year he starts fighting for the championship again, or at least for some races."

Following winless seasons in 2005 and 2006, Gibernau made a brief MotoGP™ comeback in 2009 when he competed for the final time at Laguna Seca. The full interview – in which he also discusses title contenders Dani Pedrosa, Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo – can be viewed on motogp.com.

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