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Rossi on staying competitive and relationship with Lorenzo

Rossi on staying competitive and relationship with Lorenzo

Ahead of this weekend’s Gran Premio TIM di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, one of his two home rounds, Valentino Rossi has spoken to at length about his improved competitiveness in 2014 and the dynamics of his relationship with his teammate Jorge Lorenzo.

Nine-time World Champion Rossi has been on the podium on eight occasions already this season, compared to six rostrum results in 2013 and believes the evolution of his riding style in recent months has been a key factor.

“First of all, the most significant thing I have changed compared to last year was improving the braking,” Rossi explained. “I’ve also worked a lot on my riding style; after a year with the Yamaha I’ve tried to change my riding style to make it more modern and adapt to the new tyres which have less edge grip. Now you need to use your body more, and move yourself more when leaning.”

Regarding his objectives for the remainder of this season and his aim to stay in front of his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP colleague Lorenzo in terms of points, Rossi added, “We have a very big challenge ahead of us from now to the end of the season, because I am in front of Jorge in the Championship standings, but he will want to catch up, and he is getting stronger. And then we also need to try and beat the Hondas. (Dani) Pedrosa is not very far away in the Championship. These are the main targets we have set now.”

Looking back on his departure from Yamaha at the end of 2010 and the recent seasons of his long career, Rossi added, “It was a mistake to go to Ducati, because I was annoyed with Yamaha. Because after having won (the title) with Yamaha in 2004 and 2005, after so many years in which Yamaha had been struggling, Yamaha decided to bring a very strong teammate, and then I got really annoyed at it. But now I understand I was wrong. Also because the treatment in the Yamaha box has always been very equal.”

“Even in 2008 when Jorge arrived we were always at the same level, and it is still like that. This year Yamaha has made a big effort for me, to create the conditions for me in which I can give my maximum, but they also do their best for Lorenzo, and I can say we are 50 / 50 in terms of importance in the team.”

On the specifics of sharing a box with another hugely talented rider, in the form of 2010 and 2012 World Champion Lorenzo, Rossi said, “I have never had an argument with Lorenzo, we are great rivals but we get on well. There is a good atmosphere in the team even if we are rivals. I think the thing with the exhaust pipe in Assen was a mistake from Yamaha because they had to give one to me and one to him but in the end they gave him two, but it wasn’t not a big problem.”

Finally, Rossi acknowledged that only by tasting victory again will he be totally satisfied with his current work. He admitted, “I am happy but not one hundred per cent because I need to win. I would be lying if I tried to deny it.”

MotoGP, 2014, GP TIM DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI, Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

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