Friday, August 17, 2007

Kevin Schwantz interviews Valentino Rossi!

No.34 grills No.46... :-)

1993 world champ in the 500cc class and one of the greatest motorcycle racers from the 1980s and early-1990s, Kevin Schwantz recently had the opportunity to interview Valentino Rossi. The interview was arranged by Motociclismo and here we have a few excerpts (translated from Spanish to English) from the conversation:

Kevin Schwantz: What differences do you see between Yamaha and Honda? Not only from the point of view of the bikes, but also what it's like to ride for different companies. This question comes from personal curiosity, because I have never run with either of them…

Valentino Rossi: I do not know how the situation is now, but when I ran for Honda, I had the feeling that despite being the rider, my word was not very important. When I suggested an improvement, the factory would say 'yes, we already know it.' They feel their bikes are the best and do not listen to what the rider says. The only thing that matters is three Honda riders in first three positions!

Yamaha are more... normal! The rider is more important and is given an opportunity to do things his way. You tell Yamaha what you want and they do it. Of course, you must then also gets results. But at least they listen to you, and that's important for me. If this were not the case, I may have lost my motivation by now.

KS: So how long do you think you'll be with Yamaha?

VR: I don't know. I have a contract with Yamaha for this year and the next one. Soon, I will decide what I want to do after that. I think I have the potential to remain in MotoGP for another two years, but whether to stay with Yamaha or move [after 2008], I still have not decided.

KS: What happens once you're done with MotoGP?

VR: I would like to have a shot at car racing. I think that it's possible, and I have always enjoyed driving cars. I even have a great passion for rallies and circuit racing. It won't be the same as motorcycle racing, but... I do not know. I must find something. But at this moment, I do not have any clear idea.

Get the full interview on Motociclismo.

Also see:
Kevin Schwantz talks to Faster and Faster!
The Sultan of Slide: Freddie Spencer!
Down memory lane: John Surtees
Stephanie Sheene talks about Barry...
Valentino Rossi talks about Loris Capirossi
Remembering the 1981 500cc world champ, Marco Lucchinelli
An interview with five-time 500cc world champ, Mick Doohan

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