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Valentino Rossi diary – April 2007

From: Yamaha-racing.com


Vale


I think this is my first diary since September last year and it is amazing to think that until last Sunday in Jerez I hadn’t won a race since that same month! We had five races during that time, so it is the longest I had been without winning since my first victory in the 500cc class in 2000. It is a lot, but I think that to be fair, the last four races of last season were quite strange! I had a couple of crashes, it rained …anyway, I don’t want to think about that anymore. My only focus now is on the new season and it was very important for me to come back on to the highest step of the podium in Spain. The taste of victory is something very different than being second. The championship is very long and the 25 points were very important. Now we are going to Turkey and China, and these are two circuits I do not like so much, mainly Turkey, so that’s why winning at Jerez was so important.

This year we have already seen how competitive the MotoGP field is and I think there are four or five riders who can win the championship, maybe more. Of course I would like to win as much as possible but the important thing is to be on the podium – if possible in every race - and get as many points as we can. I have said that one of my main rivals is Dani Pedrosa and already the press have started to try and create problems between us. I suppose the mistake was mine because I should always remember that everything I say will be taken out of context by the media. I talked about Dani being a ‘bambino’, which means baby in Italian, but I meant it only as a joke about his size because he’s a lot smaller than me! I didn’t mean anything about him as a person, I like him as a person and he is very grown-up. This is something I have had to deal with throughout my career – journalists creating this battle between me and the other riders – and I get quite tired of it now! I know it was my mistake but I don’t think it’s fair when they just take one part of something I have said to make up a story that isn’t true. In the past, with some rivals, it was all polemics but now there is none of that and I like it this way. Of course in the past there were some riders with whom I didn’t get on so well off the bike, but now there is none of that in the paddock and I like the fact that we all get on OK. We’re all friends…except maybe when it comes to the last corner of the race!




Vale

Thankfully it didn’t come down to the last corner between me and Dani at Jerez because my team did a perfect job setting up my M1. It was hard, because at the beginning it is always hard to understand what is happening during the race, depending on the conditions and temperature. I have to thank everybody because we were able to change something during the warm-up, as I was having troubles with a full tank and this proved to be a very important change. With the new tyre regulations we have to work a little bit differently than last year – we can’t test the race tyre in the warm-up, but the 10 laps we made in the morning allowed us to understand the problem. We made some changes to the fork and as a result, in the race I was able to be fast from the very first corner. I realised it immediately and therefore I tried to attack Dani from the first corner. The tyres helped me a lot and I rode very well, just extending my advantage over Dani with every lap so that he didn’t have the chance to attack me in the final corner.

The win at Jerez means I am also leading the championship, which is perfect because now we have to wait a month until the next race. It is a long time to wait and it would have been even longer if I wasn’t on top of the championship! Despite this I think the calendar this year is much better than last year. Now I will spend one month at home and it will be nice and relaxing, but then in June and July we will have a very long series of races, so it is important to make the most of this moment. There are 18 races altogether, which for me is too much, but at least the extra race is at Misano, just a few kilometres from my home town of Tavulia, so maybe I shouldn’t complain so much! It’s going to be a great party there and it is a race I am looking forward to very much.

Vale


It will be a long and tiring season although to be honest it hardly feels as though we have stopped since the last race of 2006 at Valencia. The week after that race I flew to Qatar to ride the new Yamaha R1, which is an amazing bike. In terms of corner speed it is very close to the M1 – it is possible to ride through the corner very fast. The bike is stable in braking and the front gives a good feeling for entry, so you can enter very fast, and the position of the bike at maximum angle is comfortable for the rider and especially you have a lot of feedback from the tyres, from the surface, to understand the limit and the amount of grip of the track. I would recommend it to people who want a bike that they can take on the road or the racetrack although it does have a lot of power so you need to have some experience with a slower bike – a 600, something like that. If you go slow the R1 is still very easy to manage, so it is also good for an amateur rider. But for sure with this amount of power, especially on the public roads, you need to pay attention – like with all this kind of bikes.

I flew straight from Qatar to compete in the Rally of New Zealand, which was an amazing experience for me. The last time I competed in WRC I crashed in the first stage so this time I took things more carefully and built my speed up over each day. In the first stage I was 33rd but I got much faster and finished ninth fastest in the final stage, ending up eleventh overall, so I was really pleased with that. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to compete again later this year. Of course I haven’t done any Formula 1 driving this winter, although I did watch the first race in Australia on the television. I was really sorry for Felipe Massa but I am a Ferrari fan so I was also happy for Kimi Raikkonen’s win. I think the Ferrari is the strongest car out there and this is good for the rest of the championship. Some people have pointed out that it could have been me out there driving the Ferrari in F1 but I never regretted my choice to stay in MotoGP. It was an important decision so I decided to make it with my heart and I never regretted it. Also, if I had changed from MotoGP to F1 having lost my title in the last race of my last season it would have been a bad feeling, so I am happy to stay to try and win it back!

In February I signed a new contract to stay with Yamaha in 2008. I’m very happy because it means now I can just concentrate on racing this season. I think that last year, when we fought back from what seemed an impossible situation to come so close to taking the title, showed what a fantastic team we are and this is why I wanted to stay with Yamaha. The atmosphere in our garage is always relaxed and happy and I think that this is something very special and difficult to find. I have great faith in Yamaha and I am very excited about my future and the future of the 800cc bike with them. We are ready to challenge with the new 800cc and now this agreement gives us the chance to launch this challenge for the next two years.

So as you can see it was a busy winter for me but I did get some time for a holiday so I took the opportunity to go to Miami with my girlfriend. We have some friends who moved to live there so it was nice to spend some time with them and enjoy the sunshine! Apart from that I have spent a lot of time in front of the television watching my favourite football team Inter Milan. They have been in great form this season and at the moment they are leading the Serie A by 18 points. The reason I have been watching them on the television and not going to the stadium is because the last game I saw was the Champions League semi-final in 2003, when we lost on away goals to our great rivals AC Milan. Since that day I swore I would never go to see Inter again because whenever I am in the stadium they play badly or lose! I think I am bad luck so I am staying away and for the moment it seems to be working! Hopefully the season can end on a high note for Inter and continue in the right way for me. The next couple of races will be tough but I have great confidence in Yamaha and in my new M1 that we can fight to win my title back. Thanks for all your support – speak to you all soon.

Ciao!
#46
 

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Respect my Authority
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Rossi is pretty damn cool! Good luck and hope he wins the next race so maybe he can reclaim the lead.:thumbup
 

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That bit about the R1 sounded like something he had to say due to his contract - right out of Yamaha's press room.
 

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Rossi Rules!!!!
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Rossi is the true GP champ. Hope he gets by stoner real quick and gets back at #1 where he belongs. :thumbup

Great article.
 

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"I would recommend it to people who want a bike that they can take on the road or the racetrack although it does have a lot of power so you need to have some experience with a slower bike – a 600, something like that."

Burrrrrrrrrrnnnnnnn! At least I ride a 675! ;)

He is quite the like-able guy.
 

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I have to thank everybody because we were able to change something during the warm-up, as I was having troubles with a full tank and this proved to be a very important change. With the new tyre regulations we have to work a little bit differently than last year – we can’t test the race tyre in the warm-up, but the 10 laps we made in the morning allowed us to understand the problem. We made some changes to the fork and as a result, in the race I was able to be fast from the very first corner.
 

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Nice one it is.
Buying a used car is a lot more complicated than buying a new one. You can quickly judge a car’s life by looking at its odometer, however, there are numerous other things to look out.
While most issues can be identified by a trusty mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection.
 
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